The Nigeria Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (NEITI), has stated that the elimination of fuel subsidy will liberate Nigeria from economic shackles and benefit the country’s poor masses.
The NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, said this on Tuesday, while speaking in Abuja, during the stakeholders’ National Extractive Dialogue (NED) 2022 meeting.
He stated that the organization is working on a research policy advisory on the cost of fuel subsidy to Nigeria, and that the publication would include facts and numbers to support NEITI’s position for the abolition of subsidy.
“The removal of fuel subsidy would free the country’s economy from servitude, benefit the poor majority, and possibly hurt the few affluent who were currently rich in the subsidy transactions,” noting the significance of the conversation given that the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) 2019 required implementing countries, including Nigeria, to disclose any transaction, including licenses that were granted and amended.
“It will also require disclosing the terms and conditions for the exploration and exploitation of oil, gas, or minerals from January 2021,” the executive secretary said.
According to him, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 directs the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to publish the terms of every new license, lease, contract, or change as soon as they are granted or signed.
“In June 2021, Nigeria was appointed the Chair of the EITI global network on contract transparency. The network which I chair is tasked with the development of a framework for contract disclosures.
“The network has 20 EITI implementing countries, including Nigeria as members. I am pleased to report that NEITI is currently coordinating the efforts to deliver on these important tasks and ensure that the provisions of PIA regarding contract disclosures are activated.
“Specifically, an inter-agencies committee on contract transparency in the extractive sector has been set up and NEITI is serving as its secretariat. The overall goal is to enable governments, companies, civil society and communities to evaluate the energy industry.
“These are aimed at proffering evidence-based policy recommendations for the efficient management of natural resource benefits and the transition from fossil fuel to a renewable energy regime with these countries as case studies,’’ he added.