The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has welcomed with high expectation, the transition of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to an independent limited liability Company.
NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who witnessed the unveiling on Tuesday in Abuja, expressed hope that with the transition to a commercial entity, it was in a better position to compete favourably with leading international oil companies globally.
Orji, in a statement by Mrs Obiageli Onuora, Head, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI said that the transition was in line with the recommendations of NEITI industry reports for the oil and gas sector.
The report covered 1999 to 2019 which equally led to the emergence of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA).
He said in the NEITI oil and gas reports that covered 1999 – 2019, NEITI had consistently recommended that Nigeria’s national oil company should be privatised to make it competitive like other national oil companies across the globe.
“Nigeria needs a business oriented NNPC to deliver the country’s energy needs, energy transition, energy security, diversification of its economy and the building of a sustainable energy future for the country, ” Orji added.
He further explained that the immediate challenges that the new NNPC needed to tackle was to free Nigeria from fuel importation.
“The immediate questions that an average Nigerian is asking are what is likely to change from the NNPC we know and the new NNPC Limited? What will happen to jobs, institutions, profit making, transparency and accountability, ” he said.
He commended the new team in NNPC and the present administration for the political will to get this reform done.
Orji expressed confidence that the NNPC Ltd. would live up to its obligations as a supporting company of the global EITI.
He reiterated its call on the Federal Government to replicate the same feat for the solid minerals sector.
According to the transparency boss, “Nigeria’s solid minerals sector also needs a holding company similar to NNPC Ltd. NEITI is advocating for the NLNG model which has proven to be sustainable, profitable and accountable.
Despite the challenges faced by the oil and gas sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, NLNG in Nigeria posted profits and even dividends. This is remarkable”.
With this unveiling, some of the provisions in the PIA have been met, while NNPC ranks among national oil and gas companies to be publicly listed in Africa with an initial share capital of N200 billion and net assets of more than $59 billion.
NEITI is confident that the PIA Steering Committee (PIASTEERCO), to which it is a member, will ensure that the provisions of the PIA are implemented to the letter and Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is positioned for a profitable and sustainable future.
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