Post Views: 461 Civic organization and social advocacy group- BudgIT, on Friday challenged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on trans...
Civic organization and social advocacy group- BudgIT, on Friday challenged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on transparency in its operations, just as it applauded plans by the corporation to end the prevalence of gas flaring in the nation’s Niger Delta region.
A statement by Abiola Afolabi, Communications Lead at BudgIT recalled that Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, in 2015 initiated the process of publishing monthly financial and operational reports of the oil giant.
Contrary to expectations however, the statement lamented that in reality, the report released so far cannot in all honesty be considered transparent and efficient, just as the corporation has not published the monthly report in 2018, thereby falling short of openness and accountability.
Plans by the NNPC to reduce gas flaring would not come at a better time, the statement added, as the menace is not only ravaging lives in the host communities but also costing the economy over $2.5bn annually and yet the economic implications of ending this practice should significantly improve Nigeria’s power generating capacity.
“Gas flaring also has significant impacts on the life expectancy of the “working poor” and “have-nots” who struggle to live within these communities. BudgIT welcomes NNPC’s new three-point smart strategy aimed at ending gas flaring in Nigeria but encourages the corporation to release more information about the process, performance metrics, regulations and enabling laws that will aid in the fulfilment of this plan,” the statement added.
A recent report by BudgIT on gas flaring indicates about 30 million people residing in the Niger Delta are affected by unnecessary gas burning by oil companies in the region, commending the NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, for announcing a three-point smart strategy aimed at ending the practice.
Dr. Baru spoke at the recently concluded 50th Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, U.S.
“BudgIT is pleased with NNPC announcement to reduce gas flaring ahead of 2020 flare out deadline by the Department Petroleum Resources (DPR).
We urge the Media, Civil Society Organizations, Oil Companies and the Government to ensure that this laudable initiative is monitored and implemented. It is equally important to see a demonstrable plan with specified timelines of strategy implementation.
While acknowledging and commending government’s goal of ending gas burning, the statement quoted Oluseun Onigbinde, Lead Partner of BudgIT as expressing belief that “the perennial issue of gas flaring can be contained if there’s a political will to implement the declared policies”.
BudgIT therefore urged the NNPC to release its monthly operational and financial reports to publish the reports for the first quarter of 2018 in line with its transparent, open and accountable practice, adding that Nigerians deserve an oil company that is transparent, accountable and open.