NNPC Hasn’t Explained $22.7bn Oil Bid Round Earnings, NLNG Div, NEITI Says

Waziri Adio, executive secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says state oil company the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is yet to explain what it did with at least $22.7bn earned from the sale of oil licenses and in dividends from its stake in Nigeria LNG Limited over a 15-year period.
In a chat with Bloomberg in his Abuja office, Adio said while the struggle is ongoing with the corporation in this regard, energy producers in the country have cooperated and complied with requirements to publish payments.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA operate joint ventures with the state oil company that account for about 90% of the output of Nigeria, Africa’s top producer.
Nigeria LNG is owned 49% by NNPC, 25.6% by Shell, 15% by Total and 10.4 % by Eni.
He however admitted that financial accountability in the oil industry has improved, as “the sector is no longer the black hole that it once was, but we can still use more transparency.
“Things are opening up. There could be more in the area of contracts, ownership and expenditure transparency, but definitely there is some progress.”
Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC spokesman, didn’t answer three calls to his mobile phone and two text messages by Bloomberg seeking comment.
NNPC has said in the past it has the authority of the government in its actions.
Neiti was set up in 2004 after Nigeria acceded to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which requires international energy companies and governments involved in mining to publish all their payments.
The Neiti law “does not give us the power to compel compliance or to enforce our recommendations,” he said. “But we have done our reports, with findings and recommendations, and we have shared them with government.”
So far, the agency has produced reports covering the years from 1999 to 2015 and is working on those for 2016 and 2017, which are scheduled for public presentation in July and November. Before the end of this year, Neiti plans “to automate our data collection process and be able to provide real-time data and real-time analysis,” Adio said.