FG MDAs meet to discuss ways of Improving Data and Information Management in the Oil and Gas Sector

The Technical Services department of the Federal Ministry of Finance on Thursday, July 17, 2014 held a one- day stakeholders’ meeting on Data and Information Management in the Oil and Gas Sector in Nigeria. The event held at Ibeto Hotel, Abuja and was well attended by the major stakeholders in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector. The organisations represented include: The Central Bank of Nigeria, The Department of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, FOSTER, FIRS, NEITI, Budget Office of Nigeria, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, PPPRA, among others. The objectives of the meeting according to the Director of the Technical Services department were as follows:

– To provide a foundation for collaboration among the stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

– To foster improved data management in the oil and gas sector, needed to make informed policy decisions.

– To create awareness about the functions of the recently created Technical Services department in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

As part of the meeting, four papers were presented. They are:

Oil and Gas Proceeds: Collecting and Keeping accurate and Timely Records:This paper was delivered by Mr. Chuks Rapu of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The paper highlighted among other things, the importance of accurate and timely record keeping, the institutions involved in oil and gas revenue collections, the oil and gas proceed accounts in CBN custody, the procedures guiding the collection of oil and gas revenue, as well as the challenges faced by the CBN in collecting and keeping this revenue. One of the policy recommendations made by the CBN was that technical capacity should be improved amongst oil and gas regulatory institutions to enable quick and accurate record keeping and reconciliations.

Improving Oil and Gas Tax Revenue Collection: Tracking Oil and Gas Revenue in Nigeria:This paper was presented by Mr. Amara Nwankpa on behalf of ORTI. The paper which focused on one of ORTI’s themes- Benefit Capture gave an in depth insight into how oil revenue moves from its sources to its final benefactors-the citizens, using relevant data and illustrations in painting the picture of exactly how oil rich Nigeria is. The presentation highlighted inconsistencies in oil and gas figures and opened grounds for discussions on the need for clarity and consistency in such data. It was suggested after the presentation that stakeholders in the sector should actively engage citizens on issues in the sector by simplifying details of happenings in the sector and by providing clear, consistent and easy to understand data in order to reduce and/or eliminate room for suspicion by the ordinary Nigerian.

Exposition on Oil and Gas Company Taxation: This paper was presented by a representative of FIRS. It showed in detail the tax obligation of oil and gas companies, the process by which this tax is collected and the contribution of oil revenue to the economy. Moving forward, FIRS suggested among other things that technical capacity should be improved amongst oil and gas regulatory institutions to enable quick and accurate record keeping and reconciliations.

A conclusion drawn from all the issues tabled was that citizen engagement on oil and gas issues was to be encouraged. To this end, it was suggested that clear, comprehensive and timely data be made readily open and available to the general public. It was a useful event for ORTI as it was a platform to engage with key government stakeholders in the oil and gas sector and to increase their awareness about our work. It also provided the opportunity to encourage more openness with oil industry data.