The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Wednesday said the un-bundling of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would curb corruption in the oil and gas industry.
Dr Ogbonnaya Orji, the acting Executive Secretary of NEITI, said this at the inauguration of the initiative’s Companies’ Forum in Lagos.
Orji said NEITI had earlier recommended the unbundling of NNPC and the privatisation of the nation’s refineries as part of the reforms to be carried out in the oil and gas sector.
According to him, NEITI also recommended installation of modern and standard metering infrastructure to measure crude production, open and competitive bidding in the allocation of oil blocks.
He said though most of its recommendations were being taken into consideration, “they need urgent implementation to curb leakages of government revenues in the industry’’.
Orji said that the forum was a gathering where companies would come together to discuss issues of policy implementation and how it affected them.
“This is a forum where you have government, companies and civil society groups sitting together to solve the problems of how a country like Nigeria will manage its natural resources prudently.
“This is with a view to ensuring that revenue generated from oil, gas and mining support national development and reduce poverty in the country,” he said.
Orji said that the forum would be independent of NEITI.
Alhaji Shehu Sanni, the President, Miners Association of Nigeria, said that the companies’ forum should be an advocacy platform where all the wrongs that had been happening in the mining sector would be corrected.
Sanni said it was an avenue to support the new government’s thinking at diversifying the economy, especially in the area of mining.
Also, Mr Tola Akinmoladun, the Chairman, Oil Producer Trading Section (OPTS), said that the forum would provide opportunity for companies to exchange ideas.