An empirical study of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)
Bature, Bashir Gafai
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This study conducts research to investigate whether Nigeria gaining Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) compliance status in 2011 has, in practice, improved transparency practices in its oil and gas industry. Its findings are the result of applying an accountability theoretical framework to the disclosure practices of the oil and gas industry. Although other studies have been published on the activities of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, they did not relate specifically to the issue of improved transparency practices in Nigeria after it achieved EITI compliance status. In line with many studies in the field, this study has adopted a mixed methods approach to analysing the issues. This study uses a questionnaire to gather perceptions from the responses of key stakeholders from seventeen different organisations in Nigeria. These data are then used to test various hypotheses. It also conducts follow-up in-depth interviews in order to gain further insights from experts in Nigeria to help interpret the results obtained. Anecdotal commentaries from the popular press in Nigeria had suggested that, despite gaining EITI compliance status there were still major shortfalls in what might be described as acceptable standards of disclosure relating to oil and gas revenue transparency. This study’s findings to a certain extent provide evidence that this is the case. In addition, it finds that there appears to be no corresponding improvement in accountability for the use of the said revenue for the good of Nigerian society. This study found out that there was information about oil revenue and other activities of the oil and gas industry, in addition to an increase of oil revenue to the Government. Further, this study discovers that there is a need for the Government and its related agencies to improve, in the management of oil and gas revenue. The Government should also allow the remedial actions to be made appropriately in the oil and gas industry, as recommended by the NEITI audit reports. This study also recommends Nigerian Government to allow civil societies and NGOs to act independently, in the activities of oil and gas industry. They should also be involved in the decision making on how to use the oil and gas revenue received. There is also a need for consultation or a group discussion among the key stakeholders of the oil and gas industry, including the government officials and those that were not accessing enough information of the oil and gas revenue, to discuss on how the Government, related agencies and the oil and gas companies will improve and maintain effective processes in providing sufficient and accurate information of the oil and gas revenue at the appropriate period. The results of this study have importance to the policy and also the body of literature.