Non-passage of enabling petroleum law has cost Nigeria $200b – NEITI

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According to reports, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says Nigeria has recorded losses to the tune of $200 billion for failing to pass an enabling law for the petroleum industry.

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The NEITI Director of Communications, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Orji said some of the losses were projected investments due to regulatory uncertainty.

Orji said that clear unambiguous rules, predictable policy-making and efficient regulations had been lacking in Nigeria’s petroleum sector since the process of enacting a law for the sector commenced.

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He said that NEITI’s 2013 audit of the oil and gas sector showed that $10.4 billion and N378.7 billion, that is N3.2 trillion at the current exchange rate, were lost.

The losses, the NEITI official said, were attributable to under-remittance, underpayments, inefficiencies, theft or absence of clear fiscal regime in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Orji noted that the losses had also been huge in economic terms on Nigeria’s foreign reserves and value of the Naira due to imports of over $26.4 billion worth of refined petroleum products.

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He said the petroleum products should otherwise have been refined in the country.

The NEITI official said Nigeria’s oil and gas sector had continued deteriorating due to insufficient laws governing the industry.

He said that Nigeria’s experience was in contrast to Ghana’s experience since it passed its own law.

Orji urged Nigeria to learn from the passing of the petroleum law in Ghana’s oil and gas sector.

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