From the first of January, 2021 Nigeria became under the obligation to reveal the terms of contracts entered into in oil and gas, and solid minerals sectors available to citizens in accordance with a new standard by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
EITI disclosed that when countries commit to contract transparency, “they accept to publicly disclose the full text of any contract, license, concession or other agreement governing the exploitation of oil, gas and minerals”.
In a report made by the Director, Communication and Advocacy Initiative (NEITI), Dr Orji Ogbonnaya on the readiness to implement the new standard, Oriji stated that plans are already in place to meet the new requirement. He explained that from January 1st 2021,all agreements made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Resources, the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) and other relevant government agencies would be publicized.
He stated that “From the position of NEITI, Nigeria is a set to comply with the new approach to public disclosure. We have developed implementation plan in compliance with the deadline given by the global EITI which Nigeria is a signatory.” He went further to state that “We have a draft implementation that is ready. That Contract Transparency implementation plan was developed with the support of development partners and multi-stakeholders. We have had a series of workshops with stakeholders to validate this implementation plan.”
Nevertheless, he stated that “content and approach on how these contracts information will be disclosed are still subject to what we are discussing with the various covered entities in order not to jeopardize their operations or to allow information that may not be required or information that is key to the heart of the operation of the agencies in the hands of the wrong people.”
Faith Nwadishi, a former board member of global EITI and Executive Director, Women in Extractives in a statement revealed that the Federal Government is expected to create a portal where citizens can easily details of the contracts that have been given out from Jan.1. According to her, “We are expecting that from January 2021, we will see the contracts that will eventually be signed by those people who the fields will be given out to.” She expressed her expectation in the Federal Government to be dedicated to the Contact Transparency.