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How can financial transparency initiatives help ensure a fair deal for communities in the Niger Delta?

Summary

Improvements to financial transparency in the oil and gas sector are particularly helpful in Nigeria, a country with a large oil industry based in the Niger Delta, but little transparency in how revenues are raised and spent. This report follows the money from oil infrastructure through NDDC to development projects on the ground to show how transparency initiative can provide a vital piece in the puzzle to hold government agencies to account.

Key messages

  • EITI and PtG transparency initiatives mean civil society can more easily track the flow of revenue generated from a geographical area by the oil and gas industry to specific government entities, and then use this in monitoring and assessing spending and actual delivery of programmes and services in communities by those entities. This data allows civil society to do two things:
    • assess how government spending is distributed geographically in comparison to where revenue is generated, and
    • to undertake on-the-ground monitoring with communities to assess whether spending reaches and impacts communities in reality – thereby also strengthening the case for greater government accountability where it is not.
  • In the case of NDDC, these initiatives provide data on nearly USD$3bn of revenue paid to NDDC 2014-18. By reviewing budgets and working with communities, we assessed 133 projects and found 50% suffered problems with implementation—in many cases, projects appeared to be abandoned or could not be found.
  • The case of NDDC provides a practical example of further improvements to revenue transparency that would help increase transparency and accountability, including:
    • publishing disaggregated by individual company and oil block, all oil industry funding it receives.
    • publishing timely annual budget allocations, strategic planning processes and principles.
    • modernisation and public access to NDDC’s project auditing process
    • local civil society receiving support to act as an independent watchdog on project delivery

Published: 06.10.2020

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