The 2019 Benchmarking Exercise Report (BER) released in Abuja on Thursday by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) has disclosed that Nigeria earned N87 trillion revenue from oil and gas over the past 37years.
The report which put average daily crude oil production in Nigeria at 1.9m barrels per day (bpd), more than Norway’s 1.8mbpd average production, noted that while Norway has $956 billion saved up for future generation, Nigeria has less than $1.3 billion saved up, with about 87 million Nigerians living in abject poverty.
The NNRC biannual BER measures 12 specific areas known as Precepts, of natural resource governance, in which a country needs to improve in to successfully ensure that resource wealth benefit citizens.
They are Precepts 1-12 which are: strategy, legal and institutional framework; transparency and accountability; exploration, licensing and monitoring operations; taxation and other company payments; local impacts; state-owned enterprises; investing for growth; stabilizing expenditure; public spending; private sector development; role of extractive companies; and role of international community, respectively.
A country’s performance against the 12 Precepts are rated in Green, Amber and Red; with Green meaning excellent, Amber meaning average and Red, poor performance. Under the 2019 BER Nigeria failed to record any green, it instead recorded 10 Ambers and two Reds. The Reds are in Precepts 5 which is Local Impacts and Precept 6 which deals with governance of the State-owned enterprises.
The report noted that Nigeria’s poor management of its oil sector especially, failure to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) over the past 18years, has left an uncertain loom over the industry leaving investors no choice but to shun Nigeria for preferred destinations like Ghana and Mozambique which have put better legal frameworks in place.
Speaking at the Launch, former minister of State for Petroelum Resources, Mr Odein Ajumogobia, said it was a shame that Nigeria was still struggling to pass its oil reform law, an important law that could position the country to maximize its hydrocarbon deposit.
“It is a shame that it is taking us this long to pass a bill that is critical to the oil sector. I worked on that bill in 2007 as a minister under (late) President Yar’Adua, and this is 13 years after. We must recognise that we have increased competition, half of Africa now produces oil, the US which was previously the biggest importer is now the biggest exporter, the window of opportunity is closing on us,” he said.
Ajumogobia who is also the Chair of the NNRC Expert Advisory Panel, advised that while waiting to pass the entire bill, we could also focus on achieving the small things which are capable of making much impacts just like the Onshore/ Offshore bill.
However, in his speech, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who was represented by Hon. Henry Nwaubah, assured that the PIB would be passed by the National Assembly mid this year.
“I can assure that the Legislative agenda of the 9th NASS is anchored on passing the PIB. Much work has been done, for now we are just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. No matter how good or bad, this law will come to be,” the lawmaker assured.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, Programme Coordinator of the NNRC, Tengi George-Ikoli, said it was the Charter’s belief that actions taken to address the gaps identified by the NNRC’s 2019 BER will guide Nigeria towards effectively translating her petroleum resources to benefit citizens.
“We believe the outcome of today’s deliberations will go a long way in aiding the government in achieving this, and accountability actors to focus their advocacy to ensure that we maximize the benefits, revenue or opportunities afforded to Nigeria by her resource endowments.” she added.
The NNRC is a non profit organization which implements the NRC in Nigeria with the aim of promoting effective management of natural resources for the benefit of Nigerians.
This is the fourth in the series of BER produced by the NNRC. The first three exercises were conducted and published in 2012, 2014 and 2017 respectively.