Nigeria’s extractive industry still opaque despite improvements – NRGI

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A report on opacity in the extractive sector conducted by an independent non-profit organisation, the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) ranked Nigeria 55th out of 89 countries whose viability of their extractive industries (oil and gas and mining sectors) policies and practices were assessed, Premium Times reports.

The 2017 Resource Governance Index (RGI), which assesses how 89 resource-rich countries govern their oil, gas and mineral wealth, particularly scored Nigeria low in the area of licensing, placing it 77th out of the 89 countries reviewed and pointing out that the Nigerian government rarely discloses “government officials’ financial interest in the extractive sector or identities of beneficial owners of extractive companies.”

The RGI noted that though there has been improved transparency in the area of collection of revenue in the last five years, tracking payments made by oil and gas companies has been challenging. The report gave the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) a poor governance rating score of 44 out of 100. It stated that the NNPC still posed serious accountability and transparency challenges.

The report also stated that Nigeria performed poorly in the management and governance of the Excess Crude Account (ECA), ranking last alongside Qatar of all the countries assessed. It observed that the Nigerian government does not disclose the rules and practices governing deposits and withdrawal or investments of the ECA. “As the largest fund by asset balance, the ECA constitutes a vast governance concern at the end of the oil sector value chain,” it noted.