To better assess oil production in Nigeria, Publish-What-You-Pay Nigeria, PWYP, has asked the regulatory authorities to install meters at the country’s oil well heads.
For long, Nigeria has faced the challenge of knowing the volume of oil it produces daily, as a result of lack of consensus on where the operating companies should install metering infrastructure.
While some operators prefer the equipment at the well-heads in oil fields, the multi-national oil companies mostly want the meters at the oil tank farms and export terminals.
The oil companies argue that oil collected at the production fields were often mixed with water, sand and other residual matters that would make it difficult to determine the volume of oil there.
Besides, they hold that measuring at the oil terminals would save them huge losses from the high incidence of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region in recent times.
But, rising from a two-day national multi-stakeholders workshop in Abuja, the PWYP Nigeria said regulatory authorities should install the meters at the oil wellheads.
Participants said this arrangement, along with the introduction of other effective and well-organised operational mechanisms, would help the country determine the quantity of crude produced.
A communique signed by the National Coordinator of PWYP, Emeka Ononamadu, and the Representative of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Mina Ogbanga, said these would strengthen transparency and accountability in the extractive industry in the country.
“The system and institutions in place for extractive sector exploration, production, control and monitoring purposes in Nigeria have proven to be inadequate, ineffective and porous, resulting in preventable leakages and revenue losses to the country,” they said.
On the effort to establish a standard fiscal, legal and regulatory framework for the industry, the group acknowledged the progress by the National Assembly in recent times in passing the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, into law.
Although the Senate said last week it had passed the governance and institutional framework aspect of the Bill, the PWYP said it was concerned about when the bill would finally be signed into law.
On the participation of civil society organizations, CSOs, in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI process in Nigeria, the group described it as “weak and not inclusive”.
Consequently, participants resolved to set up a committee to liaise with others in the beneficial ownership (BO) process to achieve the set objectives and framework contained in Nigeria’s EITI Road Map and civil society stakeholders committee, CSSC Action plan for 2017 and 2018.
The group urged the government to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve a “workable and effective legal regime” to expose corruption, regulate taxes and get rid of the flaws in the system.
Also, PWYP advised the government to give priority to anti-corruption in the extractive sector to reduce leakages in the forms of fraud, waste and abuse of public resources.