By Michael Eboh
The Federal Government has set up a committee to harmonise data from oil and gas revenue, petroleum production and government earnings from all sectors of the economy across all the ministries, departments and agencies of governments.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the committee, tagged the ‘Nigerian Petroleum Fiscal Consistency Network’, Mr. Tim Okon, Technical Adviseron Petroleum Fiscal Strategy, to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the committee was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that policy makers have access to consistent set of data in order for enlightened decision o take place.
Okon said the petroleum fiscal consistency network is driven by three ministries, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
He added that the team would be working with a number of government agencies to ensure the collection and presentation of accurate fiscal data.
He said, “It would involve the different entities that are involved in collecting information or collecting revenue as the case may be and making sure that there is a consistent basis for the data collected and presented.
“The agencies we are dealing with include collection agencies such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and various other entities.”
Okon further stated that the network would look at the manner of the workings of key sectors of the Nigerian economy and the way in which they are modeled fiscally, as well as the manner in which the results are presented to decision makers.
He said, “The team would look at how consistently we gather information, analyse the information and how we present the result of the analyses to aid policy makers. That is the essence of the committee.
“It is part of generally, reforms in the oil and gas sector. It is consistent with reforms that are going on; whether it is enhancing economic growth or just making sure that we make decisions based on analysis of information.”
Okon disclosed that the group would provide the technical basis for which technical estimates on oil revenue and production benchmark would be made without recourse to guesswork, and in liaison with the various parastatals of the Federal Government.