The NEITI means Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. It represents the Nigerian arm of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI ) with headquarters in Oslo, Norway. The EITI is an international multi-stakeholder world body made of a coalition of government, oil, gas and mining companies, the civil society groups and international non- governmental organizations. The initiative enjoys strong support from multi-lateral donor organizations.
There are over 50 member countries including Nigeria. Others are USA, Britain, France, Australia, Germany, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Albania, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Cote d’ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Norway and Ethiopia. Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Norway, Peru, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor-Lestye, Togo, Yemen, Zambia, and Ukraine are also among the member countries.
A former Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt, currently chairs the International Board of the organization. Nigeria is represented on the International Board by Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who is also the country’s Minister of State, Budget and National Planning. Another Nigerian on the International Board is Faith Nwadishi who is one of the representatives of the Civil Society.
NEITI as a Federal Government Agency
Apart from being an integral part of an International Organization, NEITI is a Federal Agency with mandate to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of the country’s natural resources. NEITI reports directly to the President of Nigeria and the National Assembly. Its organizational structure consists of: The governing body, (NEITI Board) known as the National Stakeholders Working Group (the NSWG). The NSWG is currently chaired by Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is also the Minister of Solid Minerals Development. The NEITI Secretariat is headed by the Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio. The NSWG (NEITI Board) consists of 15 members, including the Chairman, and the Executive Secretary, who serves a Secretary to the NSWG. The NEITI Secretariat has four Departments; each headed by a Director. The total staff strength of NEITI is 54. While the NEITI Secretariat is permanent, being responsible for the day to day management of the affairs of the NEITI, the Board is on part time basis, dealing with policy and strategic direction.
Why Nigerian Government signed up to implement EITI
The decision of the Federal Government to sign up to join the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI ) and establish the Nigerian arm (NEITI) was taken in 2003 within the context of the comprehensive socio-economic reform programme embarked upon by during the second term of the Obasanjo administration.
The reform programme was focused on four main areas: improving Nigeria’s macroeconomic environment; pursuing structural reforms; strengthening public expenditure management; and implementing institutional and governance reforms. Implementing the EITI in Nigeria by establishing the NEITI was part of the overall institutional and governance reforms.
Objectives of NEITI
The Objective of the EITI as an organization is to make the EITI principles and EITI criteria the internationally accepted standard for transparency and accountability management of extractive industry revenues. The underlying philosophy of the EITI is the belief that strengthened transparency of natural resource revenue can reduce corruption, transform economies, reduce poverty, and raise the living standards of entire populations in resource-rich countries.
NEITI therefore under the global EITI was created basically to promote transparency, accountability, sustainable development and eradication of poverty through prudent management of revenues from Nigeria’s natural resources especially oil, gas and mining. Until Nigeria’s membership of EITI and establishment of NEITI, the oil and gas industry was opaque and its activities shrouded in secrecy. NEITI’s was therefore set up to open up the sector for public scrutiny. The specific functions of the agency are specified in the NEITI Act 2007 attached herewith. They include but not limited to:
- ensure due process and transparency in the payments made by all extractive industry companies to the federal Government and statutory recipients.
- monitor and ensure accountability in the revenue receipts of the Federal Government from extractive industry companies.
- eliminate all forms of corrupt practices in the determination, payments, receipts and posting of revenue accruing to the Federal Government from extractive industry companies.
- ensure transparency and accountability in the application of resources from payments received from extractive industry companies.