CONFRONTING THE RESOURCE CURSE: THE NIGERIA EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE IN PERSPECTIVE’ by MUSA ABUTUDU & DAUDA GARUBA ISBN:978-978-50222-3-0 2011
The formation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was necessitated by the growing concerns about the irreconcilable gap between the magnitude of highly prized natural resources exploited in so many developing countries and the sheer record of poverty and underdevelopment posted by these same countries. Tony Blair, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in the World Sustainable Summit Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002, tipped off the need for a process that manages the extractive industry effectively. Of course, government has over the years encouraged the intensity of corruption in the extractive industry because the activities of practitioners were shrouded in secrecy aided by government.
Nigeria was one of the first set of countries to sign onto this global process before an official launch in Abuja in the year 2004. Nigeria’s voluntary decision to accede to global EITI was widely acclaimed at both local and international spheres. The Nigerian EITI process was premised and activated in a holistic anti-corruption agenda of the Obasanjo administration. The evidence this brings to the discourse of ‘resource curse’ which attracted wave of interest in development economics and political economy circles may well explain why Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, as the Nigerian sub-set of the global EITI is known. The link between oil/gas and corruption in the country has been rightly drawn by Okonjo-Iweala and Osafo-Kwaako (2007:17). Various Anti-corruption laws and legal frameworks have been put in place by different regimes over the years geared at making the extractive industry as transparent as possible. NEITI’s mandate is transparency and accountability in the extractive industry
Methodology for information gathered for this report was based on in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions with major players and actors in the extractive industry that includes the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), NEITI auditors, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and officials of NEITI secretariat. There were challenges posed by factors such as petty squabbles among CSOs due to in-depth knowledge of the NEITI Act, gross asymmetries in capabilities between CSOs and other institutions in the NEITI process and even government interference with the selection of CSOs representatives at the National Stakeholders Working Group. This hampered quality in service delivery.
The Petroleum industry was a major focus in the implementation of the NEITI process. The interactions brought to fore, the various leakages and discrepancies noticed with actors in the Petroleum industry and conflicting financial remittances it has with the CBN.
Various suggestions were made to address accountability with the private companies and government agencies in the various extractive industries with a major focus on the petroleum industry. Acronyms such as ‘ Zero Tolerance’ and ‘Publish What You Pay’ were part of the outcomes.
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