Group proposes solution to clashes in the oil and gas sector

Posted by News Express | 24 October 2017 | 1,525 times

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•Kachikwu and Baru

The ambiguity of roles which has led to incessant clashes between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be permanently put to rest if principles espoused in Precept 6 of the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) are adopted.

The NNRC, a subset of the globally implemented Natural Resource Charter (NRC), made this declaration in a statement issued on Monday in Lagos.

The Corporation, which offers policy options and practical advice for the Federal Government, civil society and the international community on how best to manage Nigeria’s natural resource wealth, also observed that the repeated allegations of impropriety hurled against the top tier officials within both organisations have debilitating consequences for the Nigerian economy.

Programme Coordinator of the NNRC, Tengi George-Ikoli, said Precept 6 of the NNRC advocates clear and appropriate decisions on the state owned enterprises role and its financing; its corporate governance systems focused on limiting political interference; oversight mechanisms and a commitment to transparency and accountability that would result in effective and efficient management of Nigeria’s resource wealth. Sadly, Nigeria is failing on multiple fronts against these indices.

The group recalled that only recently, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, alleged that the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, circumvented his authority and reported directly to the Minister for Petroleum Resources, resident Muhammadu Buhari despite the latter having delegated powers to the Minister of State. Section 2(1) of the NNPC Act allows for this delegation but is convoluted and unclear.

“The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which is only a segment of the original Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that was sent to the National Assembly over 12 years ago and all the other component parts provides some clarity on this and other governance issues that may arise and create conflict within the industry. Other allegations of abuse of due procurement processes may confirm laws such as the Public Procurement Act were broken. Investigations proposed by the legislators should be concluded as a matter of urgency.

“In order to curb conflicting incidents such as these, the legislature; specifically the House of Representatives in finalising the PIGB can provide further clarity and must as a matter of urgency, pass the PIB to safeguard the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry and by extension the economy from such malaise in the future,” the statement read.

Source: News Express

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