Deputy Head and Regional Director for Africa and Meddle East of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, EITI Mr Eddie Rich has explained that Nigeria is at the verge of being suspended by the global body of EITI.
He said the delay in the release of oil and gas as well as solid mineral report for the year 2013 adding that the deadline given by the EITI to Nigeria to publish the reports elapsed since December 3 2015.
The reports, though ready, has not been approved for publication because the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has no board to approve it.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last year, among 247 boards of federal parastatals, sacked the 15-member National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), which is the NEITI Board.
Representatives of the global body cautioned in a meeting with NEITI recently that there was the possibility of suspending Nigeria.
The meeting was led by the incoming chairman, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, with civil society organisations also in attendance in Abuja.
Mr. Eddie Rich, said: “You have missed the deadline. I have to tell you, there is a significant possibility of Nigeria’s suspension, I am sorry to have to say that is possible.”
He, however, said that the global body understood the challenges confronting NEITI, with regards to the reports.
In his reaction, the Acting Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Ogbonnaya Orji, said that Nigeria would not be suspended by EITI.
He said that the federal government was working with NEITI and the global EITI and other stakeholders who, he added, were aware that the report was ready and waiting for the composition of the Board of NEITI by the Presidency.
Orji said: “I do not think we will get to that stage, we are very optimistic, all that is required is to approve the constitution of our Board, the two reports are ready since December.