Nigeria’s oil sector headed for Venezuelan type of crisis – NNRC

The Nigeria Natural Resource Charter has called on the National Assembly and the Federal Government to revisit the Petroleum Industry and Gas bill (PIGB) if the two arms of government do not want country’s economy to be plunged into crisis similar to that of Venezuela.
Due to many years of mismanagement of the oil sector in Venezuela, the country, one of the world’s largest oil reserves, is faced acute food shortage leading to starvation and death of its citizens.
According to the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter at a seminar at the weekend in Abuja, Nigeria’s sector is currently facing similar mismanagement and if no remedial reforms in the next four years were embarked upon, would find herself in the Venezuelan situation.
The group, through its resource person who does not want to be named is worried that Nigeria now ranks 55th out of the 89 oil producing countries and would soon enter another round of recession if urgent steps were not devised to address the situation.
According to Nigeria Natural Resource Charter, the PIGB if passed, would create effective and efficient governing institutions, clarify and separate roles and accountabilities, establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities.
Other objectives the PIGB can achieve are to promote accountability and transparency and create business environment for petroleum industry operations.
The Charter lamented that despite the fact that oil remains the mainstay of the economy, it has not been accorded priority attention as politics in the country.
It also decried that Nigeria cannot meet up with the quota given to her by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), noting that Nigeria’s oil reeds has dropped from 72 to 12.
The Charter wondered why African countries were so richly endowed in natural resources but has been lazy to harness and develop the environment.
The NGO blamed political leaders in lacking in underlying principles to implement laws and policies as well lack of seriousness in carrying out reforms.
The group noted that Nigeria’s oil sector has not been attracting foreign investment due to an un-conducive business climate, noting that when there is failure of the economic, the negative impact on every sector is very rapid.

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