By Alifa Daniel, Abuja.
In Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Nigeria will be named among the infamous 20 worldwide who continue to hide details of contracts awarded in the extractive industries sector.
The country’s largest revenue earner is the petroleum industry, and it is the most ravaged by corruption and other sharp practices, accounting for a loss of hundreds of billions of dollars since independence.
A source on ground in Bogota stated last night in a communication with everyday.ng said, “Nigeria is listed as one of 20 countries not disclosing contracts. It’s (a) report just launched. It will first be discussed here in Bogota, Colombia on 9th March at 5pm.”
Countries with no contract/license disclosures and no legal commitment are Albania, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Iraq (excl. Kurdistan), Indonesia, Germany, Kazakhstan, and Madagascar.
Others are Myanmar, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine Yemen, and Zambia.
everyday.ng was directed to a website http://www.resourcegovernance.org/analysis-tools/publications/past-tipping-point where it is stated that when governments and private sector companies agree to exploit publicly owned natural resources, citizens have the right to know the terms of the resulting deals.
“These terms are contained in licenses, contracts, regulations and legislation. While regulations and legislation are usually public, licenses and contracts often are not.
It adds, “Four years after the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) began encouraging contract disclosure through its standard,Past the Tipping Point? assesses the extent to which governments of resource-rich countries have taken up the recommendation.
“The report finds that disclosing the contracts and licenses that detail terms of resource exploitation has become the norm among EITI implementing countries. Based on a review of 51 EITI implementing countries and one subnational region, the report’s authors find that 29 EITI implementing governments—well over half—have disclosed at least some of these agreements, and several more are taking concrete steps to join their ranks. (See this tablefor findings for each country including references and links to key documents.)
“But there is still plenty of room for improvement. As of today, 20 EITI implementing countries have neither published contracts or licenses nor passed a contract disclosure law, while 11 countries have failed to make the disclosures required under national laws.
“Even in countries where contract disclosure is an established practice, it remains challenging for citizens to determine which contracts or licenses apply to active extractive operations. Broken websites and the use of inappropriate file formats hindered access and can make analysis all but impossible.
“EITI reporting requirements mandate the publication of government policies on contract disclosure and information on any planned reforms. These requirements provide an important opportunity to start a discussion on contract disclosure—but the majority of implementing countries do not meet these requirements.”