By Michael Peter, The Sight News
ABUJA: The President Muhammadu Buhari led government has been called upon to justify its anti-corruption posture by ensuring transparency in the oil and gas sector, if it is to stand a chance for a second term in 2019.
Recall that the President had ridden on the anticorruption stance to emerge winner in the 2015 Presidential Election.
A research by the National Resource Charter shows that the country keeps losing billions of dollars as operations in Nigeria’s petroleum sector continue to be shrouded in secrecy, leading to rise in corrupt practices.
In her remark in Abuja on Wednesday at the Launch of the Research on The Review of Crude Oil Sales and Reserve Management in Nigeria done in conjunction with the Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Center LSD, NNRC Programmes Coordinator, Tengi George-Ikoli insisted that the nation’s failure in keeping tabs on its crude oil sales has remained one of the major obstacles in using the natural resource wealth to positively impact the lives of citizens.
She stated that the research provides both government and non-governmental organization opportunities to have deeper understanding of the oil and gas sector and what needs to be done to address some of the gaps in the sector.
According to her “While steps have been taken to improve transparency and accountability of public institutions as reported in the 2017 BER, instruments to track public spending also need to be put in place and additional information management systems deployed in government agencies.
“The review is a great work tool for both public and private sector professionals but most especially, it provides updated information on crude sales and reserves management in the petroleum sector”.
On his part, the head, environment and conservation at the Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, Kabari Sam disclosed that Nigeria stands to lose socioeconomic benefits from the over 37 billion barrels crude reserve if nothing is speedily done in eliminating the lack of transparency and accountability in the sector.
He pointed out that based on the recommendation of the Research, the country must in the light of global technological revolution, be futuristic and take seriously the issue of socioeconomic diversification in order to keep the nation afloat in times to come.
According to him, the research calls for a review of the Petroleum Fiscal Policy, which deprives the nation from sharing in the deep off shore oil production earnings and a further review of the deep waters and Inland Basin production sharing contract Act of 1999 to soothe current realities.