By NBF News

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), have agreed to collaborate on a new study initiated by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), aimed at evaluating its performance across the globe.

The agreement was reached at the corporate headquarters of the NNPC on Wednesday when a team of top management of NEITI led by its chairman, Prof Asisi Asobie, called on the group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Austen Oniwon, to intimate him of the project.

Speaking at the event, Asobie who thanked the NNPC management for its cooperation over the years said NNPC's collaboration was being sought because of its strategic importance in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

Asobie explained that Nigeria was one of the three countries selected across the globe by EITI for the study commissioned to carry out in-depth assessment of the effectiveness of its activities.

He revealed that Nigeria, Bagon and Mongolia were the only countries selected for the study, adding that the report of the study would be presented and discussed at a conference in Paris, France billed t hold from February 28, to March 4, 2011.

Throwing more light on the study, the representative of Scan, the firm engaged by EITI to carry out the study, Arne Disch explained that its task was to find out the composition of NEITI's board, evaluate EITI's performance indicators and if such indicators are valid, and what EITI has achieved in each participating country.

Responding, the NPPC GMD, Engr. Oniwon said the Corporation has no alternative than to cooperate with NEITI since Nigeria voluntarily submitted itself to the transparency initiative espoused by EITI.

Oniwon who said the Corporation was eagerly awaiting the audit report by NEITI for 2008, stated it was important for NNPC as the agency that holds Nigeria's oil and gas wealth in trust for the people to be held to account by transparency agencies like NEITI in order for it to enjoy the trust of Nigerians.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, thanked NNPC for its support and willingness to cooperate in ensuring greater transparency in the oil and gas sector of the extractive industry.