Stakeholder Urges Improved Transparency, Governance In Nigeria’s Petroleum Sector

May 25, 2021
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An industry watcher, Mr Divine Jude-Okeke (Esq), has advocated improved transparency and resources governance in Nigeria’s petroleum sector.

Okeke alleged that Nigeria is witnessing poor petroleum resources governance at the moment due to lack of effective transparency watch and monitoring to ensure that corrupt practices are duly checked.

He maintains that though the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under Mele Kyari, through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had embarked on some fruitful reforms that had yielded results against the corruption that had set back the Africa’s largest state-owned petroleum firm for years in the past, much more still needed to be done to strengthen the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) towards checking the corruption and other malpractices in there that had significantly stunted the sector’s and national economic development for decades.

“There is no doubt that the last few years was different for NNPC as its operations continued to improve towards openness but there is still need for a lot of reforms for it to compare favourably with similar global organisations around the world,” she argued, adding that NNPC’s acceptance to be signatory to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) through its Nigerian subset-NEITI and the increase in NNPC NEITI reports in recent years was a right step in the right direction.’’

According to him, to have a controlled, corruption-free, vibrant petroleum sector that would benefit all Nigerians in the long run, there was need for a paradigm shift from relying solely on transparency watch to developing a comprehensive petroleum resource governance framework that if properly applied would make leakages difficult.

He said the belief of most people has been that “perhaps through the transparent management of natural resources, corruption, institutional erosion, civil conflicts and economic challenges would be resolved. Unfortunately, for years, these concerns persist despite the popular presence of NEITI and other transparency advocates, suggesting therefore that while efforts are made to further strengthen NEITI, there should be a shift towards a broader petroleum resource governance framework”.

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