The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has welcomed with excitement, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the two chambers of the National Assembly.
NEITI said that the decision of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the bill as priority resulting in its eventual passage was bold, courageous and progressive despite the challenges the bill has passed through in its legislative journey for over ten years.
NEITI as an agency set up to enthrone transparency and accountability in the management of extractive industries in Nigeria said it has legitimate interest in the PIGB.
A statement from spokesman of the agency Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji alerted the nation last year through a special Policy Brief which stated that the current stagnation of investment opportunities in the petroleum industry was as a result of the absence of a new law for the sector leading to huge revenue losses to the tune of over $200 billion.
NEITI also reported that over $10.4bn and N378.7bn were lost through under-remittances, inefficiencies, theft or absence of a clear governance framework for the oil and gas industry.
According to the agency, the total cost to the nation in 2013 alone was N1.74 trillion largely as a result of the absence of a new law.
NEITI said that it is optimistic that with the new governance law for the industry, these huge revenue losses to the nation as a result of process lapses and outright stealing will be strictly checked if not eliminated.
Source: Daily Trust