NNPC had announced that it will begin with the publication of its 2018 Audited Financial Statement (AFS) on its website.
NEITI noted that the historic development was in fulfillment of a pledge made by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, to the management of NEITI at a meeting on August 6, 2019, a pledge Kyari reiterated on November 25, 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.
It will be recalled that Mr. Kyari acceded to the request on the spot.
“We welcome the eventual fulfilment of this important pledge and obligation,” said Waziri Adio, the Executive Secretary of NEITI in a statement by Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the Director, Communications and Advocacy and obtained by PerSecondnews.
“Given NNPC’s antecedents and its prominent role in the sector and in the country, the publication of its audited accounts is positive, signaling 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,” Adio said.
“We urge NNPC to make this a routine practice and to mainstream transparency into all facets of its operations.”
NEITI also called on NNPC to go further by publishing its previous audited accounts and in open data formats so that the reports can be more accessible to citizens who are the shareholders of the corporation.
It also urged NNPC to strengthen and sustain its commitment to data mainstreaming and systemic disclosure.
NEITI is working closely with the NNPC in this direction through a joint committee on remediation and mainstreaming.
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.
The committee was also asked to devise action plans on systematic disclosure of information on NNPC’s operations in an open and accessible format, as well as data mainstreaming, among others.
The work of the NEITI-NNPC joint committee on addressing the remedial issues is already at an advanced stage and the report will be made public very soon.
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.