To resolve disputes in the oil and gas industry, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have set up a committee to tackle disputes in the oil and gas.
NEITI Director of Communications and Advocacy, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, told newsmen that some of the remedial issues were unremitted amounts, underpayments, and inadequate metering infrastructure.
Others include management of domestic crude allocation, licensing issues and poor governance of revenue from the industry.
Meanwhile, NEITI has established the companies’ forum. Ogbonnaya said the forum is a platform for the agency and the oil companies to discuss and interact in all areas including what’s expected of the companies to do, their roles and responsibilities in the EITI process.
The EITI is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. It seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sectors.
The EITI Standard requires information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how the revenue makes its way through the government and its contribution to the economy.
This includes how licences and contracts are allocated and registered, who the beneficial owners of those operations are, what the fiscal and legal arrangements are, how much is produced, how much is paid, where the revenue is allocated, and its contributions to the economy, including employment.
Ogbannaya noted that the EITI standard is being implemented in 52 countries. According to him, each of these countries is required to publish an annual EITI report to disclosing information on: contracts and licenses, production, revenue collection, revenue allocation, and social and economic spending.
The forum, he added, was where the oil companies also could ask questions on what they needed to do, adding it helps us to bridge information gap, we use that forum to enlighten ourselves, he added.
During that forum, the companies also tell us or explain to us the difficulties/challenges they have and how their operations differ from maybe the templates or expectations that we need, so it’s a forum that has helped us to reconcile issues that create information gap, he explained, adding it’s a regular forum,’ he said.
Under that forum any issues that are about a company we convene a meeting and the companies attend and we as a party discuss. He insisted since the companies’ forum was established it has helped a great deal in reducing areas of friction.
He said that’s why it’s hardly heard that NEITI was fighting or exchanging issues with the companies because there’s a forum where the issues could be resolved, adding that the leading companies that are covered by the reports are members
‘’NEITI’s companies forum and companies that are covered by the reports both oil and gas, mining are members and the agencies are also members. We interact and understand ourselves the more, if there are areas of friction we try to resolve them, he clarified adding the oil companies are complying meaningfully,’’ he said.
Ogbonnaya said a comprehensive remediation plan had been developed, and under it, a joint committee had been set up between the two bodies and the relevant agencies to look at these issues and develop an action plan on how to get them resolved.