The Nigeria Natural Resource Charter Identifies Solutions To Clashes In The Oil And Gas sector

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 repeated allegations of impropriety hurled against the top tier officials within both organizations have debilitating consequences for the Nigerian economy.

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.

It could be recalled the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources recently alleged that the Group Managing Director of NNPC circumvented his authority and reported directly to the Minister for Petroleum Resources 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 finalizing 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 Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) is a subset of the globally implemented Natural Resource Charter (NRC). The NNRC 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. The NNRC conducts periodic assessments on the performance of oil and gas sector against economic principles “precepts” designed to ensure optimal benefits are realised from extraction in resource rich countries. 

Results of these assessments are published in Benchmarking Exercise Reports (BER’s) of which two have been published thus far. The 2012 and 2014 BERs can be found on the NNRC website at while the 2017 BER will be published and widely disseminated before the end of this year.
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