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Nigeria loses $200 bln to absence of clear legal framework in oil sector ~NEITI

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said that over $200 billion was lost to an unclear framework for the nation’s oil sector as the initiative hailed the passage of the Petroleum IndustOil sector,ry Bill (PIB).

In a statement in Abuja, Executive Secretary of NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji said the decision of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the bill as a priority resulting in its eventual passage was bold, courageous and progressive.

NEITI noted that it had boldly alerted the nation through a special policy brief, “The urgency of a new petroleum sector law” that the stagnation of investment opportunities in the petroleum industry was a result of the absence of a new law for the sector.

“This has led to huge revenue losses to the tune of over $200 billion. In that publication, NEITI argued that the “revenue losses were as a result of investments withheld or diverted by investors to other (more predictable) jurisdictions,” Orji stated.

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He said NEITI reports in the sector had also disclosed that over $10.4 billion and N378.7 billion were lost through under-remittances, inefficiencies, theft or absence of a clear governance framework for the oil and gas industry.

“The NEITI executive secretary 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.

“The implementation of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which Nigeria is a key signatory, have over the years been frustrated by the absence of a dynamic law that suits modern business modules and trends in the ever evolving oil and gas industry,” NEITI stressed

Orji expressed the hope that the PIB when assented to by the president will provide a dynamic governance framework required to reposition the industry to fully embrace competition, openness, accountability, professionalism and better profit returns on investments to both companies and government

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