The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says Nigeria will undergo a validation test of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) on oil, gas and mining sectors.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, announced this at a pre-validation workshop for stakeholders in the extractive industries in Abuja on Monday.
The Tide source reports that the validation, which will take place in January 2016, is designed to find out the level of implementation of EITI standards in Nigeria.
The EITI is a global standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources.
The EITI exercise is conducted from time to time by the global body for quality assurance mechanism.
It is targeted at ascertaining the level of compliance of member countries to EITI principles of transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.
It would be recalled that Nigeria signed up to implement EITI standards in the extractive sector in 2003, but actually began implementation in 2004 .
Ahmed noted that the pre-validation workshop was to prepare Nigeria for the 20116 EITI validation.
She said that the validation was a quality assurance assessment tool employed by EITI to ensure that implementing countries conformed to standards.
She added that Nigeria had been designated as an EITI compliance country by the global body in 2013.
“In 2012, the EITI approved a new set of standards and part of the requirements of the standard is that countries like Nigeria that are EITI compliant will be going into validation every three years.
She said the period was to make sure that “we are complying to the terms and tenets of the standards”.
The workshop was also to equip NEITI to assess its performance over the years in the implementation of the EITI standards, she added.
She said it was also an avenue to help participants identify areas that NEITI needd to improve in the discharge of its responsibility.
“So this workshop is to make an assessment on what we have done in terms of the standards; what we have not done so well and what we have not done at all.’’
She added that the validation team in 2016 would engage stakeholders in the extractive sectors in question sessions, with a view to check performance and compliance to the standards.
Ahmed noted that the consequence of not passing the validation test would not be in the interest of the nation.
She, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria would do well in the validation, given the laudable performance of NEITI.
Speaking at the workshop, the Deputy Head of EITI Secretariat, Eddie Rich, emphasised the need for member countries to meet the EITI standards.
He said that although the standards were characterised by strict measures, the importance of adhering to them could not be overemphasised.
He noted that the pre-validation workshop would promote dialogue and learning on the further implementation of EITI standards.
Rich said that the seminar would provide opportunity to increase the impact of EITI, by providing ways to strengthen government system in fiscal expenditure and revenue collection in the extractive sector..
Reports says that that the two day workshop will have resource persons making presentations.
The topics include analysis of recent oil, gas and mining reports, revenue collection in the oil, gas and mining sector.
Participants at the events were drawn from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and civil society groups.