By Auwal Ibrahim Musa
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) is dedicated to efforts towards promoting transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. We are encouraged by the increased recent emphasis of the the NNPC on transparency, accountability and inclusion. We hereby convey our best wishes to the Corporation for conducting the first audit ever in over forty (40) years of the corporation’s existence and wish to continue our support efforts to reposition our oil and gas sector as Nigeria’s foremost foreign exchange earner and improve contributions to national development.
Over the years, there had been several reports on activities of the Corporation – including commissioned inquiries, audits and investigations that have stressed transparency and accountability as crucial elements behind the inefficiency and corruption in the Corporation. These are responsible for the hemorrhage on revenue flows and oil production that have earned Nigeria’s oil sector a not-too-favorable reputation both locally and internationally.
Successive governments and leaderships of the NNPC had come out with several commitments, vows, promises, even policies on how the magic will be done in the operations of the corporation but till date has been to no avail. All we see is a bad to worse situation both in the structure of the operations and the accountability issues associated with the operations of the corporation.
This current audit report that was released recently by the corporation has shown how much the country has been losing through the operations of the corporation through some very obvious inefficient practices as seen in the reports.
We call on the National Assembly to summon the Leadership of the corporation to a public hearing on this report. There is need for the responsible personnel to answer to this level of mismanagement and also allow the public to interrogate them on all that has been going on in the system for this long.
We also use this opportunity to draw the attention of the National assembly to their legislative functions in this sector. Till date, there is no proper law governing the sector. We call on the National Assembly to speed up effort to passing the petroleum Industries Bill immediately to curb all these menaces.
We also want to call out the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) to the fact that some of the agencies in Nigeria are nothing but a drainpipe, siphoning the limited resources away than contributing to development of the country. there is need for an urgent reform process in such agencies.
We want to call on the President of the federal Republic of Nigeria, who is also the substantive Minister for petroleum Resources to give an account of his stewardship in the petroleum industry performance since his resumption in power till date.
We call on the office of the auditor general of the Federation to maintain a routine of this audit yearly as this will go a long way to show how much the yearnings of the citizens over the years for a proper restructuring of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
These resources that we see in this report are resources needed to lift the citizens of this country out of penury. It is quite disheartening that these resources are wasted leaving the people suffering in abject poverty. This act needs to be brought to justice else the claim of fighting corruption would have suffered another dangerous setback.
Finally, we call on all stakeholders to be more focused, determined and united in our demand for transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector work to ensure that the long process of legislative reform has brought to forum dawn on laws that will assurance as a regime of accountability in the sector. We in CISLAC will continue to speak and mobilize until the needful is done.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director – CISLAC