The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and other industry stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have called for diligent implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to ensure that the intended reforms in the sector are achieved.
The stakeholders who spoke at a roundtable on PIA organized by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) in Abuja noted that with the law in place, the country would be able attract the needed investment for the sector.
NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in his presentation commended the Federal Government for enacting the PIA after twenty years of the process that initiated the petroleum industry reforms, and 13 years after the formal process of legislation started.
Dr. Orji disclosed that NEITI has taken “note of specific provisions that promote the objectives of transparency, accountability, operational efficiency and generally, improved corporate governance of the oil and gas sector.
“These objectives have been the focus (and concern) of NEITI since the agency began work in 2004.
“In view of this precedence, and in line with the global standards for good and effective governance of the extractive industry, NEITI further commends government in respect of the following provisions of the PIA”.
On her part, the Executive Director, CTA, Faith Nwadishi, explained that the roundtable was an opportunity to clarify the Act’s provisions for the benefit of individuals, the media, and civil society organizations who seek to use the clarity as an advocacy campaign tool for further engagement with the government, particularly in the PIA’s implementation, Vanguard reported.
She stated that “special attention must be paid to Sections 83, 104105 and 108 specifically makes provision for contract transparency, gas flaring penalties and natural gas flare elimination plan respectively, section 108 states: ‘Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary under this Act, a licensee or lessee producing natural gas shall, within 12 months of the effective date, submit a natural gas flare elimination and monetisation plan to the commission, which shall be prepared in accordance with regulations made by the commission under this act”.
On his part, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari said the Corporation was ready to make the needed transition into commercially oriented outfit.
Represented by his aide, Lawal Musa, Mallam Kyari stressed that unlike in the past, the government is using to PIA to grow the sector rather than focusing only on revenue.