The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have agreed to work out strategies to address issues of opacity in oil and gas contracts with a view to achieving the desired Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) beneficial ownership disclosures.
It is believed that thus, Nigeria stands to meet the compliance standards required in the implementation of beneficial ownership disclosure, contract transparency, environmental reporting, gender, mainstreaming and the implementation of recommendations in the NEITI audit reports.
The agencies, at a recent strategic meeting between the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, and the Director of the agency, Sarki Auwalu, pledged to ensure joint efforts on the implementation of the initiative.
Orji had at the meeting stated that the interventions would ensure that revenues from the nation’s natural resource assets support national development and help reduce poverty.
The upgrade of facilities and deployment of advanced technology in the operations of the DPR, according to him, deserve commendation.
“It shows the human capital capacity and potential of Nigerians when put to task. My visit has been very enlightening. We may not be there yet, but certainly there are lots of improvements.
“We do not want to remain an island of transparency and efficiency, so we work with other stakeholders in the industry to bring about the needed change,” Orji said.
In implementing initiatives to build the Nigeria oil and gas industry, Orji said working with DPR on pending issues especially on the remedial issues, findings and recommendations remained sacrosanct.
He said: “NEITI firmly believes that Nigeria should be able to track, monitor efficiently and measure empirically what we produce, what we have lost to process lapses, vandalism, outright stealing and sabotage. We want to work with you on this issue because it is for the good of the industry and our country.”
Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Sarki Auwalu, who believes that the DPR and NEITI shared common vision of transparency and accountability in the nation’s energy sector, said the regulator would work with NEITI to close the existing gaps raised in the agency’s reports of the oil and gas sector.
“Most of the FDIs into Nigeria are in the oil and gas sector, so the sector is very profitable and competitive and the DPR is at the centre of driving the reforms in the sector,” Auwalu said.
Auwalu noted that the focus of his agency was to grow the nation’s crude oil reserves from its present 36.89billion barrels to 40 billion barrels and the gas reserves from its present 203 trillion cubic feet to 230trillion cubic feet.
Other areas of focus are to increase the country’s production volumes, which in turn will lead to more revenue for the country, reduce cost by barrel, monetise gas by reducing flaring and optimize gas utilisation as well as putting in place an integrated petroleum and gas distribution network among others, he said.
– Media Report