CSO Rallies Support For NUPRC Reforms In Oil Sector

A Civil Society Network, Say No Campaign, has thrown its weight behind key reforms by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) tailored towards transparency in hydrocarbon accounting, enhancing oil and gas production and curbing leakages in the country.

Speaking in Abuja, Ezenwa Nwagwu, convener of the Say No Campaign, a citizen’s movement against impunity and corruption, said under the current regime in NUPRC shining and remarkable improvement has been made to enhance transparency in the sector.

Ezenwa said that with improved transparency in the oil and gas sector, the country has netted in revenue, which will translate to the provision of basic services to teeming Nigerians.

Ezenwa noted that under the current leadership various reforms introduced which includes the automation of issuance of licenses and permits has ensured transparency and prevented delays and remove bottlenecks, adding that awards of licenses and permits are now very transparent and done in collaboration with NEITI.

I have explained that data available in the public domain significantly points to how the Commission operationalized the provisions of Section 6(a) of the PIA, by so far drafting 25 priority Regulations in accordance with due process and in consultations with relevant stakeholders pursuant to Section 216 of the PIA.

He said, “While it is important for citizens to scrutinize and criticize officials of the government, it is important that they do so from the point of knowledge, and not to deliberately misinform the public.”

According to the Say No Campaign agreed, NUPRC has for the first time in the industry, defined and introduced a transparent asset divestment regulatory framework, aimed at ensuring that the Nation is not left with financial liabilities arising from decommissioning and abandonment, environmental remediation and host community funding obligations of diving companies, which may run into billions of dollars.

Reacting to claims on allocation of oil fields, he said information in the public domain indicates that the 2020 marginal field bid round had been concluded before the assumption of the current leadership of NUPRC.

He explained that “a background check will reveal that to conclude the process and generate the expected revenue for the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari approved that the 13 fields in respect of which no signature bonus had been paid and those out of the 57 in respect of which partial payments had been made be offered to companies that had been prequalified in the Bid Round who demonstrate proof of funds. It was on the basis of this Presidential approval that the residual assets were awarded at the signature bonus predetermined by the defunct DPR and approved by President Buhari.”

He said further that, “the 13 marginal fields were awarded within the Bid Round to companies already qualified by the defunct DPR in the Bid Round. Thus, the award followed due process and were made to companies, not individuals, as that would be against Nigerian law which provides that awards may only be made to companies) qualified for the awards by the defunct DPR.

“The allegation that the awards made by the current leadership cost the nation billions of dollars per marginal field is vacuous and shows the hollowness and complete ignorance of the purveyors of the allegations on how the system works.

“In fact, the signature bonus payable by field has been pre-established and cast in Presidential approval and therefore can not be influenced by anyone rather money was saved for the government and Nigerian people.

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