All roads lead to the Nigeria AirForce (NAF) Conference Centre, Kado District of Abuja as stakeholders in the oil, gas and mining sector converge to dialogue on the recent audit reports released by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
NEITI’s decision to convene the Stakeholders Dialogue is to afford key players in the sector such as the government, companies, the civil society, the media, policy makers, legislature and covered entities to discuss the issues raised by the reports. This is within the context of increasing public demands for effective use of the information and data to hold government and companies accountable. The need for the reports to serve as tools for urgent reforms and diversification of the economy to create jobs and empower the citizens will also be canvassed at the event.
The Stakeholders Dialogue will be in two major sessions. The first session to be moderated by a former member of the House of Representatives Hon. Yusuf Tuggar will examine critical issues arising from the report, while the last session will focus on moving from recommendations to reforms. A development expert, Mr. Patrick Okigbo will moderate. The dialogue is expected to come out with a strategic plan for effective implementation of the report.
It will be recalled that the recent NEITI reports disclosed that Nigeria earned over $58 Billion from oil and gas and about N34Billion in the solid minerals sector in 2013. And that revenues from oil and gas declined by 8% when compared with $62.9Billion earned in 2012, while earnings from solid minerals increased by 7% when placed side by side with N31.4Billion realized in the same sector in 2012.
The report further disclosed that for oil and gas, the total crude production and liftings from all sources during the period under review stood at over 800 million barrels. Other pieces of information put in the public domain about that sector include the total revenue losses to the Federation and outstanding revenues from NNPC and its subsidiaries totaling over $3Billion etc.
The reports also showed the losses incurred due to offshore processing arrangements, crude oil theft valued at about $6Billion. Public attention was also drawn by the report to divestments or transfers of the Federation equity holdings in OMLs (Oil Mining Leases) by the NNPC to its subsidiary, the NPDC at a sum of $1.8 billion out of which only $100 million was paid. The report raised red flags on the process and weight of the transactions on the scale of transparency, accountability, competition and value for money. Other disclosures were on subsidy payments, management of cash calls, process and governance issues that resulted in huge revenue leakages.
The reports outlined findings and recommendations and stressed the urgent need for Nigeria to diversify its economy, explore the infinite opportunities in the mining sector. The disclosures on the solid minerals are equally of huge public interest. These and more issues raised in the reports will feature prominently during the deliberation.
The Chairman of NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group and Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi is expected to deliver the keynote while the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, will present the highlights of the reports to set the stage for the dialogue. Members of NEITI Board will be in attendance.
The Stakeholders Dialogue is coming at the heels of the recent resolution of the Senate to debate the reports in plenary. These efforts will help to define the necessary steps towards effective implementation of the findings and recommendations as part of the on-going reforms of the extractive sector by the present administration.