What can the Nigerian government,oil companies, the international community, and civil society do to ensure more transparency of oil reverevenues andmore wealth distribution of oil profits

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

To me, the bulk of the responsibility lies with the Nigerian government.  It is only with their consent that anyone else can do anything to ensure that Nigerian oil helps everyone in that country.

The oil companies have to make contracts with the Nigerian government to be allowed access to the oil.  Thus, they must do what the government says.

I suppose that the oil companies could all get together and tell the Nigerians that they will not pump oil there unless the government is better about distributing the oil money, but that is unlikely.  This is especially true because there are oil companies from lots of countries (like Russia and China) that don't really care about human rights.

The internation community and civil society could try to put pressure on Nigeria, but as long as we need their oil, their government can pretty much do what it wants.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

What do you mean by reverevenues? Is it some technical term or just reserves and revenues typed incorrectly? I will answer the question, assuming it relates to transparency of oil reserves and revenues.

To begin with we should understand that oil revenues and reserves is an international matter and not just of Nigeria. Second, why single out only oil revenues and reserves for increased transparency. IN the world there are many natural resources that have reserves and earn revenues. In addition there are many other agricultural and manufactured products that are produced and sold. Fairly good amount of information is available on different aspects of these goods, their availability, production, revenue and profits made. Of course, some details are considered to be confidential information by businesses which can be misused by competitors, and hence is not readily available all that openly.

Thus certain level of transparency already exists. If additional transparency is desired, we will have to first determine the kind of additional information desired. Next we will have to balance the benefits of such additional transparency with the cost oh obtaining the information and the cost of potential misuses of such information. Once it is established that additional transparency is justified in specific areas, only then we can think about the appropriate means of achieving such transparency. With out clarity on what additional information to be made available and to whom, it is not meaningful to find ways of making any and every type of information available.

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