Uche Usim, Abuja
In line with its transparency objectives, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has become an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) partner company, joining a group of over 65 extractives companies, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), commodity traders, financial institutions and industry partners who are committed to supporting EITI’s company expectations.
Hence, the new status requires that NNPC publicly declares support for the EITI principles and promoting transparency throughout the extractive industries.
It is also expected help public debate and provide opportunities for sustainable development.
NNPC is also expected publicly disclose taxes and payments.
Other requirements are; to ensure comprehensive disclosure of taxes and payments made to all EITI implementing countries; publicly disclose beneficial owners and take steps to identify the beneficial owners of direct business partners, including Joint Ventures and contractors; engage in rigorous procurement processes, including due diligence in respect to partners and vendors; deliver natural resources in a manner that benefits societies and communities and ensure that company processes are appropriate to deliver the data required for high standards of accountability.
EITI Board Chair, Helen Clark, Who welcomed the company’s commitment to the EITI said: “NNPC plays a vital role in Nigeria’s economy. Joining the EITI as a supporting company is a welcome step in the NNPC’s journey towards achieving greater transparency and to help ensure that Nigeria’s citizens benefit from their natural resource wealth.”
Also commenting on the development, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and former EITI Board member, Mrs Zainab Ahmed stressed the importance of ensuring that natural resource wealth contributes to sustainable development, saying that: “Increased transparency of Nigeria’s national oil company revenues is contributing to improvements in our country’s domestic resource mobilisation efforts.”
Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director at NNPC, affirmed his company’s commitment to the EITI: “Becoming an EITI supporting company aligns with NNPC’s corporate vision and principles of transparency, accountability and performance excellence. Our partnership with NEITI and EITI strengthens our commitment towards commodity trading transparency, contract transparency and systematic disclosure of revenues and payments. We are on a journey towards greater transparency and look forward to deepening our collaboration with the EITI to further this work.”
NEITI Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, commended NNPC’s move to support the EITI: “NNPC joining the EITI as a supporting company is a major inflection point in the quest for transparency – for the company, for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, and for the country as a whole. This is so given how critical NNPC is to the sector and to the country. NEITI welcomes this bold commitment. We will continue to work and walk with NNPC to translate its espoused commitments to transparency and accountability into concrete and sustained actions and results.”
Becoming an EITI supporting company can help state-owned companies make progress on the journey to transparency. A recent example is Qatar Petroleum, which has been an EITI supporting company since October 2019 and has now published its annual and sustainability plans for the first time.
EITI’s mission is to promote understanding of natural resource management, strengthen public and corporate governance and provide the data to inform greater transparency and accountability in the extractives sector.