NNPC Operations Yet to be Transparent, Says Kachikwu

The reforms in the oil industry leading to checks on corrupt practices by the federal government have not guaranteed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is now transparent in its operations, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said.
Kachikwu who spoke on the occasion of the visit of members of the international oil companies (IOCs) accused them of complicity in theft of crude oil in the country.
The Minister said that there was still so much to be done to transform NNPC and make it accountable to Nigerians.
This was contained in the October edition of the monthly podcast released in Abuja for Nigerians to know the status of the oil and gas industry in the country.
According to him, “We delivered an open NNPC, we basically opened up our books, we published and tried to be as transparent as we can, but a lot of works still needs to be done there, but for the first time we delivered the kind of NNPC that has never been the sort of NNPC that you used to know.”
Meanwhile, a group of civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in Nigeria’s extractive industry have claimed that IOCs in the Niger Delta cannot be totally absolved of the huge theft of crude oil recorded in the country, according to THISDAY report.
The report said IOCs had been found culpable of stealing oil from Nigeria, and that oil theft cannot be limited to illegal refining in the Niger Delta.
In a communiqué issued at the end of a workshop in Enugu, the National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria, Mr. Peter Egbule, said it was difficult to achieve transparent contracting processes in the country’s extractive sectors.
According to the communique, “It is difficult to achieve contract transparency in the extractive sector in Nigeria. Although, there are legal frameworks that regulate contracts in the industry, however, they are not always complied with.”
“Nigerians find it difficult to know the exact quantity of crude the country produces. Tax incentives are granted to companies without cost benefit analysis. Oil theft is not limited to illegal refining, IOCs have been found to be culpable of oil theft in Nigeria,”
“At the moment, EITI application standards in Nigeria are faced with numerous challenges. Efforts are being often being concentrated on transparency, without adequate attention on accountability.
Experience has shown that transparency alone does not deliver good governance, it must come with accountability.”

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