The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Dr Ogbonnaya Orji, is still insisting that until recently Nigeria do not have accurate data of the volume of crude oil produced in the country particularly those from offshore production.
However he said the creation of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) has substantially addressed concerns over the country’s crude production data.
The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Dr Ogbonnaya Orji, made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen after a visit to the Centre on Wednesday in Lagos.
Orji said NEITI was committed to entrenching transparency and accountability in not only the petroleum sector but in other areas such as mining to ensure judicious utilisation of the nation’s resources.
He said: “It is a very expository visit and I am proud that I came to an agency that has upgraded. An agency that is now current in data and information.
The Department of Petroleum Resources has done a lot of investment in data which I have seen.
“The NOGEC has addressed substantially the fears of NEITI on data in terms of crude produced, imported, transported and also in terms of tracking real time, the development in the oil and gas sector.
“The DPR has responded extensively to some of the gaps NEITI believes need to be addressed. Our concern that we do not know how much crude Nigeria is producing has been substantially addressed.
“NEITI just don’t raise alarm in a vacuum. We raise alarm for processes to change, lapses to be addressed and the DPR is on the verge of addressing that,” Orji said.
He, however, noted that oil theft was still a challenge which required collaboration of not just the DPR and NEITI but other relevant agencies.
Orji said the automation of the processes would enhance transparency and improve investors’ confidence in the sector.
Also speaking, Mr Sarki Auwalu, Director, DPR, disclosed that more investors had indicated interest in the oil and gas industry following the recent inauguration of the Centre by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Auwalu said the NOGEC complex was structured to house the various flagship Centres in order to comprehensively cover key areas of the industry.
He said the flagship Centres were Search, Rescue and Surveillance (SeRAS) Command and Control Centre and National improved Oil Recovery Centre (NIORC).
“Others are Oil and Gas Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (ADRC), Oil and Gas Competence Development Centre and Integrated Data Mining and Analytics Centre.
“The ADRC only last week successfully resolved a dispute between parties which has been going on for about 18 years in the court.
“We have other matters before the centre and this is one of the ways we can reduce cost, enhance safety and add value to the industry,” he said.