09 February 2016, Abuja – The global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative on Monday declared that there was a high probability of suspending Nigeria’s membership of the body, because the country had failed to meet the deadline to publish the 2013 audit reports for its extractive sector due to the absence of a board to approve the already completed reports.
This is coming as the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative stated that it was difficult for it to identify the true owners of oil blocks as well as other oil and gas assets across the country.
This, NEITI said, was because the owners of such assets were manipulating their records in the Corporate Affairs Commission in a bid to hide their real identities.
NEITI’s revelation and the warning from EITI were made public during a meeting, which had representatives from both agencies as well as delegates from the civil society in Abuja.
Delegates from the global transparency body were led to the meeting by the incoming Chair, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Although EITI had extended the December 2015 deadline given to Nigeria to publish the reports to February 2016, it warned that the country risked being suspended if care was not taken.
NEITI had explained that the non-constitution of a board for the agency was responsible for the delay in publishing the 2013 audit reports for the oil and gas sector as well as the mining industry.
EITI’s Deputy Head/Regional Director for Africa and Middle East, Mr. Eddie Rich, stated that the global body understood why Nigeria had yet to meet the deadline, but was quick to state that it might be suspended.