- Oil and gas experts want the Nigerian government to be transparent in the next bid rounds for the country's marginal oil fields
- The experts revealed that previous bid rounds revealed a sharp decline in interest from serious investors, both local and foreign
- They stated that before the commencement of bidding rounds, Nigerians should be presented with evidence of four key deliverables
Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have said that previous bid rounds in Nigeria's marginal oil fields revealed a sharp decline in interest from serious investors, both local and foreign.
The stakeholders, therefore, recommended to the federal government that terms governing licensing round must be open and transparent, saying this will boost investors confidence.
This was part of resolutions reached at the end of a one-day workshop on improving transparency in the oil licensing process organised by a coalition of civil society organisations and the media.
The resolution was contained in a communique issued at the end of the virtual workshop.
The communique was jointly signed by Peter Egbule, for Coalition of Civil Society Organisations and Bassey Udo, Media Initiative on Transparency in Extractive Industries.
The workshop also recommended that for the purpose of transparency, oversight of bidding processes should be provided by the National Assembly, auditing by the Nigeria Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), and continuous monitoring before, during and after the bid process by civil society organizations and the media.
The stakeholders said the workshop was necessitated by the recent announcement by the federal government of its intention to conduct a fresh licensing bid round for Nigeria's marginal oil fields
In the communique, various recommendations were proffered to help improve the chances of Nigeria delivering the next oil licensing bid round that will not only meet globally acceptable standards, but also realize set national objectives to increase oil revenues, boost proven national oil reserves, and raise the country's daily oil production capacity.
It stated that before the commencement of the bidding rounds, Nigerians should be presented with evidence of four key deliverables.
“That as a prerequisite, President Muhammadu Buhari should publicly declare that he would not invoke his discretionary powers as minister of petroleum resources before, during and after the bid licensing process.
“This public declaration is critical to rebuilding the confidence of serious investors to participate in the bidding process trusting that whatever will be the outcome will not be subject to any boardroom intervention outside strict adherence to approved bid guidelines and rules,” part of the communique read.
Meanwhile, there is continuous pressure on the global oil industry as U.S oil prices plunged, falling below $0 on Monday, April 20 to $-37.63 a barrel.
It is the lowest level since oil futures trading began in 1983 as the economic crisis set off by the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on the energy sector globally.
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