Statoil Backs Financial Transparency in Nigeria

A call from Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo for transparency over financial transactions by the extractive industries is being supported by Statoil.

This accords with earlier backing given by the group and the Norwegian authorities to international initiatives on financial transparency for the oil and gas industry in developing countries.

UK premier Tony Blair called at last year's World Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, for international collaboration to establish a code of conduct in this area. Dubbed the extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI), his proposal has also been welcomed by Statoil.

It means that governments, companies, non-governmental organizations and international institutions would jointly formulate and pursue guidelines on transparency.

These would relate in turn to payments made by the extractive industries including oil and gas in the countries in which they operate.

Statoil will now give active support to the proposals from President Obasanjo. "They represent a very important initiative for companies which want full financial transparency," says Rolf Magne Larsen, vice president for country analysis and social responsibility.

"Achieving success in this area will depend on the authorities taking the lead, and Nigeria now ranks as a pioneer in that respect."

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