Nigeria will make oil revenue data public

Nov 14, 2003 01:00 AM

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said his government will publicly release government data on oil revenues in the future. Obasanjo made the announcement in the capital Abuja at a meeting with oil and gas industry executives.
He said the initiative was aimed at "publishing what you pay and what you earn" in the petroleum and gas industry. Obasanjo's move is roughly in line with a UK government-led initiative to make governments and companies in the international oil industry more accountable.

Receipts from crude oil and LNG exports account for about 90 % of the government's revenue. At another meeting with a delegation from the oil-rich Delta State, Obasanjo said it was wrong to describe Nigeria as rich.
"The total budget of the federal government is about the budget of the fires services in the city of New York. And yet, we think that we are a rich country," Obasanjo said.

Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer, is currently ranked among the poorest countries in the world, with about 70 % of its population said to be living in poverty. Critics say most of the earnings from oil and gas are lost to government corruption, and end up in the overseas accounts of officials.
The Nigerian government says it has embarked on an anti-corruption drive.

Source: Dow Jones
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