Politics, nepotism, corruption bane of oil industry

Petroleum Resources, Don Etiebet, has said the Nigerian oil industry is bogged down by politics, nepotism and corruption.

Worst still, he said weak institutions such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have not been able to withstand the powers that be in order to stem the rot in the industry.

Etiebet stated this in Abuja at a roundtable discussion on maximising Nigeria’s oil and gas potentials.

The former minister, who described the stagnation in the country’s oil industry as disheartening, observed that instead of past leaders advancing the industry, they resorted to using it for patronage. 

“In the past, we were bogged down by improper decisions like politics, nepotism and corruption so much that the industry grew around friendship. The industry grew around who knows who in politics. The industry grew around proxies. OPLs, OMLs were given to proxies, relations, in-laws and friends. What should have been done properly was not done.”

He said when the international oil companies came into Nigeria they met a confused oil industry. “All attempts by them to correct the prevailing confusion failed, hence, they had to start behaving like tourists in Rome.”

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