A non-governmental organization, NGO, committed to promoting good governance, combating corruption and adjudicating for environmental justice, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, has identified the oil and gas sector as the most corrupt sector in the nation’s economy.
The group frowned at the manner in which state governors relax and accept any amount given to them as monthly allocations from the federal government, without trying to ascertain how the amount was arrived at; a situation it said has exposed Nigerians to unnecessary hardship, because according to them, the amount usually declared is never close to what it should be.
Chairman of the organization, Mr. Olarenwaju Suraju, made the observation during the group’s presentation of a report on its review of the 2020 / 2021 Marginal Field Bids Licensing Round in Nigeria at The Colossus Hotel, Ikeja Lagos, during which the activist wondered why the state and local governments are not concerned about relevant details of the nation’s revenue but would just wait to receive any amount allocated to them. He noted that the Oil and Gas Sector account for over 70 percent of corruption in the country.
Olarenwaju recalled that the last time Nigeria’s Marginal Fields (any discovered oil field that has been left unattended for a period of not less than ten years, effective from its discovery or such field as deemed by the president may identify as marginal field) were reviewed was in 2003/2004. He described the Marginal Field Sub-sector as the cornerstone of Nigeria’s upstream petroleum local content development strategy, explaining that the focus on it was aimed at promoting and protecting indigenous capital to counter-balance multinational dominance of Nigeria’s economy.
The report which appraised the 2020/2021 study against the backdrop of global standard practice and the country’s past experiences with a view to identifying milestones and infractions for possible redress, identified glitches and delays but described the exercise as ‘a success story’, because according to their findings, it recorded milestones such as: expansion of space for indigenous participation in the industry, generation of N200 billion and 7million USD revenue to the federal government, taking away oil license from people the report described as ‘portfolio investors’ who end up trading the papers for a flip, among others.