NEITI canvasses transparency, accountability in PIB

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

10 April 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has renewed calls for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, stressing that the issue of transparency and development of the oil and gas industry and the national economy hinges on the passage of a robust and pragmatic legislation.

The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who made the call in an address during the presentation of the 2006-2008 Audit Report of the Oil and Gas sector to the public, in Enugu, Enugu State, said a lot of the confusion and corruption within the sector was caused by the absence of such a law.

NEITI had picked holes in the old bill, which it alleged was a plot to rip the country off by unpatriotic elements in the nation’s oil and gas industry, if the bill passes in its current state. It noted that in view of the fact that oil is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, “the National Assembly owes all Nigerians a responsibility to promote Nigeria’s interest in the bill, protect our corporate sovereignty and secure the future of generations yet unborn.”

Ahmed, therefore, charged the National Assembly to ensure that the proposed PIB should “include a requirement for operators in the oil and gas industry to conform to the tenets of transparency, accountability, good governance and due process as enshrined in the NEITI Act.”

She added that, “NEITI also looks forward to a PIB that will ensure that fiscal regimes in the Bill not only guarantees higher revenues for government and reasonable profits for companies, but also conforms to international optimal levels.”

The transparency watchdog has been the vanguard for the passage of a Nigerian-centric law, which protects the nation’s interest in the exploration and production of the abundant oil and gas resources.

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