Initiatives Aimed at Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry: A Critical Appraisal of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the NEITI Act and the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB)
This article seeks to analyse initiatives that have aimed to increase the level of transparency and accountability in the petroleum sector in Nigeria during the past few decades. Nigeria has vast deposits of natural-resource wealth; however, harvesting these resources in order to provide an optimal financial return has often been challenging. Furthermore, the financial gains have not always translated into an improved socio-economic standing of the country’s citizens. It is argued that the main reasons for this are mismanagement of natural-resource wealth and a lack of transparency and accountability in the petroleum sector. This article discusses recent initiatives that aim to deal with these issues, namely: the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), specifically the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the NEITI Act and the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB). The article examines whether these initiatives can contribute to a more transparent and accountable petroleum sector and whether they can ultimately translate into objectifiable results and improve the overall socio-economic situation in Nigeria.