A critical analysis of the auditing
and reporting functions of
Nigeria Extractive Industry
Transparency Initiative (NEITI)
Lessons for EITI countries
Bethel Uzoma Ihugba
African Higher Education and Research Observatory, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
Purpose – This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of the legal response by Nigeria to the
sustainable management and use of revenue from the extractive industry in its enactment of the Nigeria
Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act 2007. It hopes to contribute to the
development of Nigeria’s and other countries’ Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative-based
regulations or policies intended for the sustainable exploitation and management of revenue from the
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is qualitative and uses critical analysis to explore the
potentials and limits of the NEITI Act vis-a
`-vis its promises and capabilities. The article concentrates on
the analysis of the sections providing for the objectives of the Act, its functions, its auditing and
reporting requirements and timeline for publications of audits and reports for purposes of transparency,
accountability and public debate.
Findings – The paper nds that although the intendment of the Act appears positive, the sections
providing for the achievement of its objectives and functions are bedeviled with several ambiguities,
which undermine its effectiveness.
Research limitations/implications – The NEITI Act is as yet neither a basis for the prosecution of
any individual and/or organization nor been legally challenged in court. As such there is no case law to
exemplify the practical application of its provisions. However, logical analysis and review of the Act
suggests that more needs to be done to increase its effectiveness.
Practical implications – The paper makes the case for the proper denition of terms, stipulation of
clear timelines and creation of enforcement functions in legislations, especially in laws that aim to
regulate potential irregularities that may provide huge nancial rewards for perpetrators and/or
undermine a society’s socio-economic development.
Originality/value – This paper boldly questions the effectiveness and functionality of the NEITI Act
2007 and lays out a framework for its improvement. Also due to serious dearth of scholarly work on
NEITI Act 2007, this paper is the rst research work to explore the effectiveness of the NEITI Act 2007
from a legal perspective.
The author remains very grateful to the editors and reviewers for their painstaking reviews and
advice. The author also thanks his wife, Bright Nnenna, and daughter, Ann Chidiebube, for all
their love, patience and support in all his endeavors. The author takes sole responsibility for any
and all errors.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Received 28 March 2014
Revised 18 July 2014
Accepted 21 July 2014
Journal of International Trade Law
Vol. 13 No. 3, 2014
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited