Former President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Dr. Brown Ogbeifun, has raised alarm over depleting oil rigs in the country.
Speaking at the Save Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Roundtable Conference in Abuja, yesterday, Ogbeifun revealed that the nation’s oil rigs had depleted from 34 in 2012 to seven, compared to a country like the United State States that has well over 1, 000 rigs.
“We can’t pretend that all is well,” he said and called for immediate actions to increase the nation’s oil and gas production to avoid what he described an economic doom for the nation.
Ogbeifun lamented that currently, the Joint Venture Cash Calls were not being adequately funded, a situation, he warned, portended grave danger for the nation’s economy, stressing that many multinational oil companies had divested and left Nigeria.
The consequences, he said, could spell doom for the economy as, according to him, oil and gas remained the main revenue earner for the nation, in spite of efforts being made to diversify the economy.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, Ogbeifun, regretted that the reform intended to be achieved through the Bill had still not become a law, nearly six years after.
He added that the PIB would have changed the situation in oil and gas, if the reform had been completed by passing the Bill into law by the National Assembly.
In his remarks, the President of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to interrogate the nation’s crude oil production, export and local refining activities by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to stop inefficiency and every form of corruption inherent therein.
According to him, the oil and gas industry is being operated from the perspective of “the more you look, the less you see” and that the industry had to be purged of corrupt tendencies.”
Also speaking, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who represented the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, observed that oil and gas revenue remained largely unaccounted for by players in the industry.
He lamented that Nigeria had become a bad example of how to run an oil and gas industry, the world over.
According to him, the situation has become very embarrassing, as even smaller African nations who have discovered oil now openly say they will not follow the path of Nigeria.
He urged operators to be more transparent in their activities in the interest of the generality of the Nigerian public.