Abuja — The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, Monday in Abuja, insisted that there was a need for the country to improve on data availability to support investment decisions and transparency.
While OPEC admitted that Nigeria has made significant improvement in oil and gas related data in the past three years, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Folashade Yemi-Esan, said there was an urgent need for reliable data in the country, especially in the oil and gas sector.
She said while the acknowledgement from OPEC on the progress made by Nigeria was laudable, it remained shameful for Nigerians to always resort to the oil producers data before they make business decisions.
Speaking at OPEC data management training workshop, hosted by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), for relevant agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and other key ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), she said the Ministry would work with relevant agencies to improve on data availability, especially for use in Nigeria.
"Apart from OPEC data, we need credible data in the country. Why do we need to go to OPEC before we get data about Nigeria? We need to work hard to ensure that we have credible data here in Nigeria," she stated.
She expressed the hope that the training, which was the first of its kind would help the country achieve projected objectives.
OPEC's Head, Data Services Department, Research Division, Dapo Odulaja, applauding Nigeria's efforts made in the past few years to supply data to the body, stressed that data transparency was critical if the industry would move forward.
He said capacity building also remained key for the sector to grow especially in data gathering.
The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Aliyu Gusau, who said the importance of the training cannot be overlooked, noted that the initiative will strengthen capacity in Nigeria.
He said the programme is also in line with the country's national policy to ensure the development of centres of excellence to guarantee that value derivable from capacity building interventions was retained in-country.
OPEC Governor for Nigeria, Omar Ibrahim, said data accuracy from Nigeria has been good in OPEC, which he said are usually harmonised thereby avoiding situations where agencies present diverse figures.
"We have always lagged behind most OPEC member countries in data submission and accuracy. But in the last three years, things have changed. OPEC is very happy with us.
The accuracy of our data has improved tremendously, and the timeliness has also improved. I believe we are to be about the third in the hierarchy of data submission," Ibrahim said.