Abuja March 16, 2017. The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursed N5.12 trillion to the three tiers of government in 2016 as against the N6.01 Trillion shared in 2015. The figure is 15% short of disbursements in 2015 alone and over 40% less than the aggregated disbursements to the three tiers of government in Nigeria between 2013 and 2016.

These information and data were contained in the latest NEITI Quarterly Review; “FAAC Disbursements in 2016: Review and Projections” released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). 

The Review which is the third in the series, focused on disbursements from the federation account to the Federal, States and Local Governments. It also appraised the internally generated revenues of the states in 2016 and capacity to fund budgets.

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is set to establish an Open Contracting Data Standard platform for procurement of goods and services. The online platform is to provide comprehensive public information and disclosure on all procurement opportunities and contracting information by NEITI to the general public.

This decision by NEITI is consistent with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to agreements reached at the Anti-Corruption Summit held in London in 2016.

At the Summit, President Buhari had declared; “We will work towards full implementation of the principles of the Open Contracting Data Standard, focusing on major projects as an early priority. We will apply the Open Contracting Data Standard to the following major projects; Development of Refineries in the oil Sector; Building of Health Centres and Improvement of Health Services; Building of Roads and other Infrastructures; Building of Schools and Improving Transparency in the Management of Education Funds and Investment in the Power Sector.’’

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has identified Nigeria’s membership of Open Government Partnership as a timely platform to push for disclosure of beneficial owners of companies in the oil, gas and mining industries in the country.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio stated this while addressing a Consultative Forum on Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Abuja.

“Knowing how much companies paid in the form of taxes, royalty, rents etc. and how much government received is important, but not enough. Knowing those who are the real owners of the companies is critical to checking corruption, money laundering, drug and terrorism financing, tax avoidance and evasion,” Mr. Adio added.

Mr Adio called on the Federal Government to enact a special legislation that will compel companies in the extractive sector to make public the names and identities of their real owners.

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African countries implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) have been called upon to device home-grown strategies to tackle transparency and accountability issues bearing in mind the unique and peculiar nature of the region.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development Dr. Kayode Fayemi made the call when he received a delegation from the Malawi Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MWEITI) that came to understudy Nigeria's implementation of the EITI.

The Malawian delegation visited the Minister in his capacity as the Chairman of the NEITI National Stakeholders’ Working Group, which is NEITI’s board. 

Dr. Fayemi advised Africa countries to bring their traditional notions of accountability and values to interrogate existing institutional mechanisms and frameworks while entrenching the values that will stand the test of time and ultimately influence global initiatives like the EITI and make the initiative attractive for their citizens.

“One value we can add is to make the EITI relevant to our people and the government, Dr. Fayemi stated. We joined the initiative voluntarily. We need to have our own clarity of thoughts as to what we will like to see. Annual audits are fine by themselves, but we need to make the issue of transparency tangible for those who are ultimately the victims of lack of transparency especially in the extractive industries. How does what we do in NEITI for instance sit with the African mining vision that African Union Ministers have agreed for the extractive sector in Africa.”

He advised African countries implementing the EITI to use the initiative to help their respective governments by proposing alternatives and options that support reforms in their extractive industries.

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says it will partner with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to enthrone transparency and accountability in the operations of the agency.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio gave the assessment in his presentation to the Retreat of the Commission held in Port Harcourt

Mr. Adio noted that the NDDC and NEITI were set up with similar mandates targeted at addressing the syndrome of resource curse, a situation where countries like Nigeria blessed with abundant natural resources find their larger population living in abject poverty as a result of over – dependence on the natural resource and mismanagement of revenues accruing from the resource.

He lamented that over the years public perception of NDDC was more of an agency with huge revenue resources but with little impact on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta.

The Executive Secretary who was represented by NEITI’s Director, Communications, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji urged the new team at the NDDC to carry out a corruption risk assessment that will enable the agency develop a framework to strengthen its operations.

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Abuja: January 31, 2017: All government agencies have been advised to embrace full Implementation of the Freedom of Information Act as an important tool to push the anti –corruption campaign to nooks and cranies of the public service.

The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Joe Abah made the appeal in Abuja while speaking at a ceremony to unveil the FOI portal and the new website of NEITI. The website was designed by R2K, a Non-Governmental Organization with the support of MacArthur Foundation to promote implementation and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Dr Abah stated that the steps taken so far by NEITI to make its operations open, efficient and accountable were consistent with the on-going public service reforms within FGN’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The website which is FOI compliant is expected to serve as a model to all government agencies in responding to public inquiries on their operations and services to the citizens.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of (R2K) Right to Know and a former member of the House of Representatives,Honorable Uche Onyeagucha identified institutional secrecy as major obstacles to Nigeria’s development. He said that open access to information is a major tool for free speech, freedom of association and citizens participation in governance, transparency and accountability. He commended the federal government’s initiative for the introduction of Bank Verification Number (BVN) noting that, it has added tremendous value in reducing illicit financial transactions.

 

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has unveiled two documents designed to push the boundaries of implementation of transparency and accountability in the extractive industries in Nigeria.

The first document is the Roadmap on Beneficial Ownership disclosure. It seeks to outline Nigeria’s strategy towards the implementation and fulfillment of Requirement 2.5 of the EITI standard which among other things demands public disclosures of the real owners of oil, gas and mining companies that operate in Nigeria.

The roadmap provides comprehensive plans and actions designed to guide Nigeria in its implementation of beneficial ownership disclosure in the extractive industries.

The strategy document also identified the institutional frameworks that are required for effective implementation of ownership transparency, clarity on definition of beneficial owners and explanation on thresholds for public disclosure required in the process.

The document also defined those who fall into the category of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and the reporting obligations expected of them as well as the challenges that may be encountered during the process of data collection, data quality assurance, accessibility and timeliness.

The plan also identified the need for capacity building for all stakeholders expected to be involved in the implementation given the complexity of the extractive industries in Nigeria and highlighted the need for public education and enlightenment on the principles and benefits of Beneficial Ownership disclosures.

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