Cari Votava is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist with the World Bank Group, focusing on financial market integrity. Cari participated in EITI's conference on Beneficial Ownership in Jakarta, Indonesia, as both a moderator and a speaker, and EITI commissioned this blog post on beneficial ownership in the extractives sector. The views expressed in this blog are her own.
One on one with Ayodeji Olowoporoku, winner of the Executive Secretary Annual Award for Exceptional Contributions, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
Please give us a little bit of background of yourself; tell us who you are and why you are interested in extractives governance in Nigeria?
My name is Ayodeji Olowoporoku. I am a Policy Analyst at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), and I have worked here since 2010. As an undergraduate,
2017 has been a busy year for our countries. Almost half have completed Validation, we have seen unparalleled political commitments on beneficial ownership transparency and most are accelerating the process of mainstreaming transparency into government and company systems.
We welcomed three countries to our family in 2017 – Guyana, Mexico and Suriname. We also saw three countries withdraw from EITI implementation, Azerbaijan, Niger and the United States.
Region faces tricky implementation challenges, but overall there are reasons to be cheerful.
In the past month, I have met with all 24 African EITI implementing countries. 10 Anglophone and Lusophone countries in Lusaka, 13 Francophone countries in Yaoundé, and Tanzania. I have also been to Ghana (with our Chair, Fredrik Reinfeldt), Mozambique and Sierra Leone. Colleagues have been on a Validation mission to Madagascar and pre-Validation mission to Ethiopia.
2017 was a busy year in the EITI world. In total, 217 articles were published including blog and news items. We also held three Board meetings, a global beneficial ownership conference, another "-papers"-leak, and over 20 Validations have generated a lot of traffic to our website. We have had almost 800,000 page views this year, and over 140 000 users. The Standard was downloaded 3,181 times this year,
Kazakhstan has implemented the EITI for ten years, and is seen as a flagship for natural resource transparency in the region. EITI reports have significantly enhanced information in the extractive sector, disclosing disaggregated revenue data and data on social investments, local content, production, exports, etc. Most of this information was not available to the public before.
In 2015, commodity trading practices in Indonesia were thrown into crisis when fraudulent practices involving Petral, the trading arm of state-owned petroleum company Pertamina were uncovered. The fraud involved overpricing of commodities which led Pertamina to pay imports at almost three times their real value, as well as deviating from proper bidding processes to limit competition and favour a few select traders.
It has been 10 years since the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global standard towards good governance in the extractive industries, came into effect. During this decade, the EITI has expanded to all regions of the world and its impact has deepened in each of the links of the value chain of the extractive sector. With the update of the EITI standard in 2013, it is no longer merely a matter of reconciling corporate payments with government revenues.
Delegates of thirteen French-speaking African countries, which are implementing the EITI, offered examples of the results and impact of the EITI in their respective countries
As pointed out at the opening ceremony of the meeting by Eddie Rich, Deputy Director of the EITI International Secretariat: "The countries of French-speaking Africa have made much progress on transparency". He recalled that African countries were among the first to join the EITI,
At the EITI Opening Up Ownership Conference, I facilitated a session on standards for beneficial ownership data in the context of the open data and open government movements. I was joined by Antya Widita, the Web Foundation's Data Lab Manager in Jakarta and Malick Tapsoba, Head of the Burkina Faso Open Data Initiative. Alongside these two open data experts, we were lucky to be joined by Yanuar Nugroho, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the President,