President Muhammadu Buhari has narrated how the country lost an estimated 50 billion dollars worth of investments in ten years, created by the uncertainty of non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), lack of progress, and stagnation in the petroleum industry.
According to him, in the past ten years, Nigeria has lost an estimated 50billion dollars worth of investments due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB.
He said that the uncertainty over the bill which seeks to introduce changes to the governance, administrative, regulatory, and fiscal framework of the Nigerian oil and gas industry affected the development of the sector and dragged the nation behind economic wise.
The president spoke on Tuesday after approving a steering committee headed by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, to oversee the process of implementation of the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
According to him, we are all aware that Past Administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was lack of political will to actualize this needed transformation.
“This lack of progress has stagnated the growth of the industry and the prosperity of our economy. In the past ten years, Nigeria has lost an estimated 50billion dollars worth of investments due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB.
“This administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help our country attract investments across the oil and gas value chain.’’
The president noted that the committee was tasked with the completion of the implementation of this act within 12 months and directed all relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government to fully cooperate in ensuring the successful and timely implementation of the PIA.
“To consolidate the commitment of this administration to delivering the value proposition of this law, I have approved an implementation framework commencing immediately to ensure the industry envisaged in the new law begins to take shape.
“The implementation process to be headed by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources is hereby tasked with the completion of the implementation of this act within 12 months. I am therefore directing all relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government to fully cooperate in ensuring the successful and timely implementation of this law,’’ he said.
The president maintained that the signing into law had become necessary in view of the fact that Nigeria runs a Petroleum Industry that is governed largely by laws enacted over 50 years ago such as the principal legislation; the Petroleum Act of 1969 and other obsolete legislations.
Furthermore, the president commended the National Assembly for ensuring the passage of the PIB. He noted that his signing of PIB on Aug. 16, 2021 to “Petroleum Industry Act 2021” marked the beginning of the journey towards a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that would attract investments to support the nation economic recovery and growth plan.
According to the president, the PIA creates a regulatory environment that will ensure efficiency and accountability across the oil and gas value chain and reposition NNPC to a commercially driven National Petroleum Company that is accountable to the federation.
“The Act also provides for a direct benefit framework that will enable sustainable development of Host Communities. I appeal to the host communities to look carefully at the contents of the Bill which in the implementation will bring real and lasting benefits to them.
“Furthermore, the act provides for a deliberate end to gas flaring which would facilitate the attainment of Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions of the Paris Agreement through a funding mechanism to support gas flare out project in host communities. Similarly, it acknowledges global energy transition and made necessary provisions for NNPC to invest in renewable energy,’’ he added.
Other members of the implementation committee include Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Executive Chairman, FIRS, representative of the Ministry of Justice, and representative of the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Natural Resources, Olufemi Lijadu, will serve as External Legal Adviser, while the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, will serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group.