Nigeria Extractive industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI) on Thursday said it has commenced assessment of the losses the country incurred from the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in the oil sector.
Dr. Waziri Adio, the Executive Secretary, disclosed this at the launch of the NEITI Data Dashboard in Abuja.
He explained that the law setting up PSC set some clauses that whenever the price of oil crosses $20/barrel, the contract shall be reviewed in a way that it shall be more financially rewarding to the country.
The NEITI boss added that irrespective of whether it exceeds $20 or not, when it reaches 15 years and five years subsequently, the terms should be reviewed in a way that it should be more financially beneficial to Nigeria.
He recalled that when the PSC was introduced in 1993, offshore exploitation and exploration technology was expensive that it was very uncertain and the country needed the companies to invest for Nigeria to increase its resources.
Owing to this, he said Nigeria gave them a lot of incentives but at some point they must have recouped the investments and the incentives will not be necessary again.
But according to him, “What we are doing is not to say that the companies are owing us X amount. We are doing the study to see that some of the parameters have changed, and if we are reviewing, we are reviewing to say this is what the country has lost.
“This is not to recoup the money because that money is gone. It is not the money anybody is owing us, but to put a cost to inaction to ensure that something like that does not happen again.”
He pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari has already presented a bill to repeal the PSC Act to the National Assembly.
Adio said that NEITI is carrying out the assessment of the PSC to reveal what the oil companies should have paid to Nigeria.
He disclosed that the watchdog organization is automating its data in order to depart from the manual data collection that wastes a lot of time and money.
On the data dashboard, the Executive Secretary noted that it will avail stakeholders and citizens opportunity to have information on the sector on their finger tip.
Presently, the watchdog organization, will update the data from time to time, but it now has that of 1999 to 2015 on an excel pressed sheet.
The essence of the dashboard is to simplify the information in the extractive industry to hold the companies and governments accountable to the citizenry.
He submitted that the dashboard is to demystify the technical nature of the oil and gas sector, which has imposed exclusion on the majority of the citizenry.
His words: “It is an effort to ensure that the actual owners of the resources are the real owners . You can’t own what you don’t know. It is the collective property of Nigerians. But the technical nature of the field imposes exclusion.”