29 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) disclosed on Wednesday that the country has recorded losses to the tune of $200 billion for failing to pass an enabling law for the petroleum industry.
A statement signed by NEITI Director of Communications, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, noted that some of the losses were projected investments due to regulatory uncertainty.
Orji said that clear unambiguous rules, predictable policy-making, and efficient regulations had been lacking in Nigeria’s petroleum sector since the process of enacting a law for the sector commenced.
He said that NEITI 2013 audit of the oil and gas sector showed that $10.4 billion and N378.7 billion (i.e. N3.2 trillion at the current exchange rate) were lost.
According to him, the losses were attributable to under-remittance, underpayments, inefficiencies, theft or absence of clear fiscal regime in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Orji noted that the losses had also been huge in economic terms on Nigeria’s foreign reserves and value of the Naira due to imports of over $26.4 billion worth of refined petroleum products.
The NEITI official said Nigeria’s oil and gas sector had continued deteriorating due to insufficient laws governing the industry.
Orji added that Nigeria’s experience was in contrast to Ghana’s experience since it passed its own law and despite Ghana’s relative newness to oil and gas production. He, therefore, urged Nigeria to learn from the passing of the petroleum law in Ghana’s oil and gas sector.