The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) yesterday, in Abuja, said the successful implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) remains sacrosanct in boosting the country’s oil earnings.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji stated that $741.48 billion was recorded as revenue earnings to government coffers from the sector from 1999 to 2020, adding that the development would improve on the backdrop of the successful implementation of PIA.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement on the implementation of PIA, Orji said emerging issues in the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and NEITI’s obligation under the PIA were forcing the agency to review its enabling law to accommodate the developments.
According to him, as an agency with the mandate to promote transparency and accountability in the extractive sectors, with a multi-stakeholders platform for dialogue on natural resources governance, NEITI has a huge responsibility to facilitate and strengthen the participation of diverse stakeholders for a successful implementation of the PIA.
Orji added that PIA provides wider roles for NEITI in the oil and gas sector, adding that the legislation further created the need for transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s petroleum sector.
“The implementation of the Act and full operationalisation of its provisions are of great interest to NEITI and its stakeholders,” he added.
He said the agency would leverage on its experience and exposure in the oil and gas sector over the years to ensure that the implementation of the PIA delivers its overall objective and desired results.
He added that NEITI had conducted and published 25 cycles of audit reports in the oil and gas sector, covering the 1999-2020 period, where a total of $741.48 was recorded as revenue earnings to government coffers from the sector.
Disclosing that the 2021 oil and gas sector audit is currently ongoing and will soon be released, Orji said NEITI reports had led to the recovery of several billions of dollars by the government from companies operating in the sector.
Chairman of the NEITI National Stakeholders’ Working Group (NSWG), Olusegun Adeyemi Adekunle noted that NEITI, as a member of the Presidential Steering Committee on PIA implementation, has an obligation to respond adequately and support its successful implementation and ensure delivery of its objectives.
“The board resolved to prepare NEITI to deliver on Nigeria’s international obligation and meet citizens’ expectations on the twin components of transparency and accountability and to position Nigeria to attract the much-needed foreign direct investment in the sector while supporting Nigeria’s revenue growth plan & resource mobilisation.
“Let me assure you all that the Board under my leadership will continue to provide the needed leadership and strategic direction to the NEITI secretariat to deliver on the agency mandate and responsibilities to our country and citizens,” he stated.