There is an abundant literature which documents the process of signing and complying with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), as well as the benefits of doing so. However, with the exception of a detailed case study on Nigeria, few studies examine the political, economic and social factors that have led governments to sign and comply with the EITI. Expert comments confirm the lack of literature on key motivators but suggest factors that motivate signature and compliance with the EITI. Furthermore, from the existing literature it is possible to identify factors which may have contributed towards signature and compliance and factors which may have undermined support for the EITI.
The key contributory factors have been:
- reform-minded politicians
- international and domestic kudos
- international support through multilateral programmes or debt restructuring
- national healing.
The ability to build capacity and local ownership has been crucial for continued success. Supportive factors may have been an increasingly widespread recognition of the importance of regulating the extractive industries and the significance of transparency as a positive value in itself, and the degree to which implementation of the EITI left mainstream politics untouched.
In Nigeria key factors supporting EITI signature and compliance were:
- President Obasanjo’s personal motives
- the strength of the reform team
- debt rescheduling
- a modular approach to reform
- antagonism towards international oil companies
- support from the international community
- civil society’s (albeit weak) support
- insights from the last oil boom.
Factors that undermined support and ongoing compliance with EITI in Nigeria may have been:
- the premature conclusion of the Paris Club process
- resentment by other politicians of the popularity of the reformers
- reaction against a process perceived as ‘Western’
- President Obasanjo’s push for a third presidential term, contrary to the constitution
- institutional inertia.