NEITI urges NNPC to publish previous audited accounts
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to further publish its previous audited accounts in open data formats for the reports to be more accessible to stakeholders.
NEITI, in a statement by its Director of Communications and Advocacy, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, further urged the corporation to strengthen and sustain its commitment to data mainstreaming and systemic disclosure.
The statement lauded NNPC for the decision to make public its audited accounts for the first time in its history with the publication of its 2018 Audited Financial Statement, AFS, on its website.
“NEITI acknowledges that this historic development fulfils a pledge made by the GMD of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, to the management of NEITI at a meeting on 6th August 2019, a pledge which Mr. Kyari reiterated on 25th November 2019 during the official visit to Nigeria of Mr. Mark Robinson, the Executive Director of the global EITI.
“During the August 2019 advocacy meeting, the NEITI management had urged the then new GMD of NNPC to consider demonstrating his espoused commitment to transparency by making public the corporation's audited accounts. Mr. Kyari acceded to the request on the spot,” the statement said.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr Waziri Adio, was quoted in the statement as saying "We welcome the eventual fulfilment of this important pledge and obligation. Given NNPC's antecedents and its prominent role in the sector and in the country, the publication of its audited accounts is positive, signalling more openness for the oil and gas sector and for Nigeria.
"When combined with the monthly reports that NNPC started publishing in 2016, this development marks a sea-change for a national oil company that used to be renowned for opacity. We urge NNPC to make this a routine practice and to mainstream transparency into all facets of its operations.”
The agency said it was working closely with the NNPC through a joint committee on remediation and mainstreaming, adding that the committee, set up by the two organisations, was tasked with the responsibilities of examining the status of legacy and other lingering issues about NNPC in NEITI's reports over the years, and to recommend workable strategies for resolving the issues.
As part of its Strategic Plan and in line with the EITI Standard, NEITI has of late embraced proactive and constructive engagements with entities covered under the its reports with a view to reducing audit issues, deepening commitment to transparency, and encouraging proactive disclosures.
"We do not want to be the only entity talking about and practising transparency. There is little use being an island of transparency. Our goal is for all our stakeholders to believe in and model transparency. And to demonstrate our commitment to this new way of working, we are engaging with all covered entities bilaterally and collectively on outstanding issues and how we can further push the boundaries of openness," Adio said.