Photospeak: Saving a Very Distressed Oil Sector

Nigeria’s newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to roll out sustainable reforms in the Nigerian oil and gas sector so as to bring to an end, the concerns linked to corruption and decades of mismanagement of oil revenues.  At the root of the rot in the Nigerian oil industry is the absence of a coherent legal and policy framework for maximizing government’s fiscal take, end gas flaring, improve domestic gas utilization, and hold operators accountable for serious violations of environmental standards which force aggrieved persons and communities to resort to extra-legal and violent confrontations.

President Buhari started the reforms by ordering the dissolution of the board of the national oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).  The provisions of the Petroleum Act already deems the NNPC board as dissolved once the tenure of the minister of petroleum resources that constituted the board ends. The implication is that the NNPC board stood dissolved as of May 29, 2015, and the current dissolution directive could be no more than a mere ratification of an existing situation. Public commentary regarding the propriety and relevance of this reform measure has swelled both in the media and online discussion portals. Spaces for Change’s executive director, Victoria Ohaeri, and the Research & Policy Communications Officer, Ndutimobong Enang, were on Radio Continental, 102.3FM Lagos, on July 10, 2015 to discuss the above issues and many more.

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