'NNPC not transparent despite reforms’

By Oke Peter
An international coalition that promotes public debate on the reforms in the extractive sector, Publish What You Pay, has disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is still not transparent enough despite the various reforms introduced by the Federal Government to make the corporation accountable to Nigerians.
According to the report, the Federal Government has yet to take strategic actions in its reform process at the NNPC, which the Nigerian masses can feel and relate with.
Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day multi-stakeholders’ workshop for civil societies working in the extractive sector, the National Coordinator, PWYP, Mr. Peter Egbule, observed that the current administration had good intentions for the corporation, but stressed that more work should be done to open up the national oil firm.
He said, “Those intentions must materialise into actions that the ordinary man can feel. For instance, the NNPC runs as government within a government.
“They do their budget; they decide how much they retire or spend; they decide what profit they plough back.”
Egbule said there was a need for a change in the structure of the corporation either through implementable reforms or complete unbundling.
He noted that the biggest issue in the Nigerian extractive industry was the matter of accountability and transparency.
Egbule said, “The biggest issue for us is accountability and transparency across the value chain in the extractive sector. Again, extractive industry is misunderstood as being oil and gas that is one of the key issues. We want to also make people to understand that the sector spans beyond oil and gas into solid minerals.”
He, however, stated that Nigeria had fared fairly well in the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) since the process started about 10 years ago with the NEITI Act of 2007.
He urged the Federal Government to use its political power to assist in remedying some of the concerns identified in the sector, as remediation issues cut across several ministries and parastatals.

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