By Daniel Alfred
FOLLOWING the road show held recently at Owerri by NEITI, a voluntary initiative, it has been made a point of duty to promote accountability and transparency around payment made by extractive industry companies and revenues received from the sectors of companies.
In lieu of this, NEITI was created basically to improve transparency in public budget process stating to the fact that citizens can hold government to account for the use of revenues. In order words, it is not the whole process. However it is best to see it as a flexible tool, which manifests differently in various political economies, albeit with a sharp focus revenue transparency.
NEITI on this note is beneficial and accrue to implementing countries when it is treated as part of or entry point to broader effort to improve governance of resources revenue, promoting economic development and political stability, transparency in resource management to help prevent conflict and contribute to improve investment climate and enhancing public confidence and trust in government and attracts the support of international development community.
According to the concrete benefit of NEITI implementation to candidate and compliant countries, this can be achieved by implementing NEITI, enabling a country to have an accurate account of revenue paid to government by EI companies, leading to more efficient collection of taxes, royalties etc from these said El companies. As a result promote accountability which empowers citizens to better organise themselves to hold government and public agencies on account of how revenues are used.
Therefore, demonstrating national commitment to transparency and fundamental cornerstone of good governance, so as to improve sovereign and government creditworthiness. The FGN as regards the NEITI act, 2007 committed Nigerian to implementing NEITI in 2003, setting up a body to drive the process in 2004 which enacted a law to enforce it in 2007.
Moreso, the key objectives of the Nigerian extractive industry transparency initiative where stated to ensure due process and transparency in the payment to the Nigerian state by all attractive industry companies, to monitor and ensure accountability in the revenue receipt, eliminating all form of corrupt practices in the determination, payments, receipts and posting of revenue accruing to them, also by the government in the application of resource from payment received from EICs, ensuring conformity with all the principles of NEITI.
Specifically, its benefit is in the creation of new, consensual framework for reporting and disclosure of payment and receipts of revenues round the sector.
This automatically provides accurate data and credible information on flows of revenue, physical volumes and process issue in the sector, accepting of the imperative of accountability, ending corruption in revenue payments and receipt of the FGN from El companies, acceptance of need for transparency by the government in application of resources from payment, increasing rating of Nigeria and credibility of Nigerian Government in the international community.
Finally, NEITI framework for reporting and disclosure is not a substitute for traditional or pre-NEITI frameworks and it is complementary but distinct, designed and applied in a framework of consensus between government relevant public agencies, the industry, private sector and civil society.