‘Nigerians not in control of oil assets, blocs’

A stakeholder in the extractive sector, Kolawole Banwo, has identified beneficial ownership, and remediation as two major areas the Federal Government has failed to improve on transparency in the extractive sector, including oil and gas industry.

According to Banwo, one of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI’s) principles is that member countries are expected to declare the beneficial owners of oil assets across the value chain of the sector.

Banwo, who spoke with The Nation at the weekend, agreed that though there had been some level of progress in the award of contracts, however, Nigeria has not made it as realistic as it should be for its citizens to own oil assets, oil blocs etc.

Banwo said the government had failed to disclose the details of the contract of operators in the sector, which he said is contrary to the provisions of the EITI.

“Nigeria is expected to make contracts entered into for the exploration and production of oil, gas and mining from January 1, 2021 public. The contract disclosure would allow communities affected by extractive operations see how revenue from royalties and taxes flow to their national, regional or local governments,’’ he added.

They will also get to understand what subsidies and tax incentives are awarded to companies and what obligations are placed on companies to protect their communities and the environment, make social payments or provide local employment,” Banwo.

The EITI is a voluntary initiative through which countries commit to publish reports on how the government manages the oil, gas, and mining sectors. These reports include a reconciliation of revenues paid by extractive companies and revenues received by governments.

It is believed that the prudent use of natural resource wealth should be an important engine for sustainable economic growth that contributes to sustainable development and poverty reduction, but if not managed properly, can create negative economic and social impacts.

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