The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it will soon commence the publication of details of petroleum products supplies transactions as part of efforts to deepen transparency in its operation.
The corporation also pledged to support Nigeria in its commitment to meet its December 31, 2019, deadline to open a beneficial ownership register in the petroleum industry.
The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mele Kyari, made these commitments when the national executive of the Media Initiative on Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI) visited him in his office in Abuja.
MITEI is a non-profit non-governmental national network of extractive sector journalists working to promote transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s extractive sector.
Beneficial ownership is a practice in commercial law where persons directly or indirectly ultimately own or control a corporate entity.
The global Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) is committed to establishing a standard that will eliminate the practice in the exploitation of extractive resources.
The new global standard requires all resource-rich countries to open and maintain a register containing the data and particulars of all benefiting owners of operating licences and concessions.
The register is aimed at promoting openness, transparency and accountability in the exploitation of extractive resources.
Nigeria, which is one of the 54 signatories to the EITI principles, has already set December 31 this year as the deadline to open a beneficial ownership register for the petroleum industry.
Since the deadline, the Nigerian EITI, which is championing the sensitisation campaign, has been working with civil society groups, to see that Nigeria meets the target.
A fortnight ago, NEITI, in collaboration with MITEI and other interest groups, formed the Beneficial Ownership Reporting Network (BORN) to step up sensitisation on the benefits of the register in Nigeria.
During the visit, the National Coordinator of MITEI, Bassey Udo, urged the NNPC GMD “to use his good offices to ensure the beneficial ownership register is up and running in Nigeria by December.”
Mr Udo told the GMD of plans by the group to organise a workshop on Beneficial Ownership to educate Nigerians on its significance to the petroleum.
The NNPC is an important player in the Nigerian petroleum industry as a principal partner in the joint venture operations by the International oil companies.
He noted Mr Kyari’s effort since assumption of office to reform the NNPC into a transparent and accountable company through his management’s four cardinal points of transparency, accountability with performance excellence (TAPE).
“We implore you to keep your promise to ensure the full rehabilitation of the country’s refineries and transform the country into a net exporter of petroleum products before the end of 2023.
“Nigerians expect you to sustain transparency and accountability not only in the NNPC, but the entire oil and gas industry, by continuing to make your accounts and operations open to the public,” Mr Udo said.
Kyari commits to NNPC’s transparency
Responding, Mr Kyari said his management is committed to conducting NNPC’s business in a transparent manner, saying it was in the interest of the corporation to do so.
Beyond publishing the corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Reports, Mr Kyari said the NNPC will soon publish details of its petroleum products supplies transactions to further deepen transparency in the system.
“We will continue to be transparent to our stakeholders. We will do more than you can ever imagine in terms of transparency.
“We will not just publish our financial records, but very soon, we will publish more things that Nigerians need to know, particularly details of petroleum products supply and distribution which is an area most people don’t understand,” the GMD said.
He said the corporation had more to gain from being transparent, in terms of reputation and goodwill, “since trust in business requires corresponding responsibility of accountability to all stakeholders”.
“You lose nothing by being accountable and transparent, and the combination of the two will create a good relationship with stakeholders and ultimately lead you to excellent performance,” he said.