NEITI – DPR Alliance To Curtail Oil Theft, Improve Industry Transparency 

Developing countries losing $1trn annually to illicit financial flow – NEITI

Yemisi Izuora

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, have mutually agreed to work in partnership towards curbing stealing of crude oil and improve on the industry’s transparency drive of the present administration.

Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, during a meeting with the Director of the DPR, Sarki Auwalu, in Lagos commended efforts of the agency in entrenching transparency in the industry.

In his opening remark at the meeting Orji said that NEITI has established a template to measure oil revenue earning of government through rentals, taxes and royalties and would like the DPR to offer more technical support to enable NEITI succeed in the task set for itself.

Orji, said previous reports and finding of NEITI revealed lopsided contract awards, massive stealing of crude and other illegal activities that has led to non remittances of accruable revenue to government.

He said the body has unveiled two documents designed to enhance transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.

The document seeks to outline Nigeria’s strategy towards the implementation and fulfillment of Requirement 2.5 of the EITI standard which among other things, demands public disclosures of the real owners of oil, gas and mining companies that operate in Nigeria.

According to him, the roadmap provides comprehensive plans and actions designed to guide Nigeria in its implementation of beneficial ownership disclosure in the extractive industries.

The strategy document also identified the institutional frameworks that are required for effective implementation of ownership transparency, clarity on definition of beneficial owners and explanation on thresholds for public disclosure required in the process.

Auwalu, in his presentation enumerated efforts by the regulator to curb stealing and enhance transparency drive in the industry.

He said the 2020 marginal oilfield bid round was almost at completion stage with successful companies paying their signature bonuses.

He said the award of the marginal oilfield would increase Nigeria’s oil and gas production capacity and reserves to boost the country’s resources for national development.

Auwalu said the bid round, which began on June 1, 2020 was aimed at deepening the participation of indigenous companies in the upstream segment of the industry.

According to the him, it will also provide opportunities for technical and financial partnerships for investors.

The Director said some of the indigenous companies that emerged from previous marginal oilfield bid rounds were today competing with international oil companies, which was very good for the nation.

Auwalu further said the DPR generated about N452 billion for the Federal Government from January to March.

He added that the regulatory agency was targeting an additional N900 billion for the months of April to June.

According to him, the DPR operates a cashless revenue system which enables all revenue remittances to be paid directly to the federation account in total compliance with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of government.

Auwalu noted that transparency and accountability were critical to sustaining the industry and assured NEITI of the DPR’s support towards its mandate.

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