Statoil, a leading Norwegian Oil Company has joined the call for a new law to guide the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry.
The Managing Director Paul Piche, made the call while on a working visit to NEITI. He explained that the issues of transparency and good business environment are important in attracting international investments and stressed the need for the Petroleum Industry Bill to be passed into law.
‘’The issue of transparency, accountability and good governance is serious and key for business to thrive. It does require tripartite model of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which is built on trust by all critical stakeholders.’’
He disclosed that Statoil has so far invested over $ 2billion in the Nigerian economy.
He expressed the hope that a new law will create opportunities for more inflow of foreign direct investment from the Oil and Gas industry.
Mr. Paul Piche commended NEITI for its effort in promoting transparency and accountability in the industry and pledged the cooperation of his company to the realization of NEITI’s mandate.
The Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio explained that NEITI is committed to moving its operations beyond publishing reports to ensuring that the information and data released to the public are used effectively as tools for poverty reduction and promotion of national debate.
‘’NEITI is also venturing into other areas but key now for us is beneficial ownership, contract transparency, which was the focus of the first policy brief that we did. The aim is to use our policy brief to pressurize the policy makers’’.
He explained that the second policy brief will focus on the Petroleum Industry Bill, (PIB). This will require engaging more with the media, civic groups, building the capacity of the legislature and industry regulators to understand how the industry works and limit the timeframe for the passage of the PIB. Another area of advocacy will involve ensuring the Inter-ministerial Task Team, IMTT pursues the covered entities to remedy issues identified in the audit reports.
The visit by Statoil is in line with NEITI’s resolve to deepen engagement with companies in the sector.