The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has decried the delay in passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), saying the development was responsible for low foreign investors in the country.
It explained that the absence of a stable fiscal environment was inhibiting the growth of the Nigerian petroleum industry, especially the upstream sector.
The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, said that international investors were losing confidence in the nation’s oil and gas industry as a result of unstable fiscal regime.
Kyari, who stated this while playing host to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) who were on an oversight visit to the Corporation recently, urged the lawmakers to act fast and arrest the situation by fast-tracking the PIB bill passage.
“We need to act quickly to move from this unstable situation to a very stable one and the only way is for us to get the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to work so that countries and investors can work with us,” the GMD was quoted as saying in a statement by the NNPC spokesperson, Kennie Obateru.
Furthermore, Kyari said foreign capital was needed in the upstream sector and that the only way to attract it was to have stable laws and a friendly business environment that could guarantee cost recovery and a decent return on investment for investors.
He disclosed that the uncertainty in the sector created by the long delay in the passage of the PIB has led to a number of divestments from the country in the recent past.
The GMD also stated that the drive by the management of NNPC to entrench the culture of transparency in the corporation has improved its business fortunes and creditworthiness as lenders are now willing to grant credit to it.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Musa Adar, expressed the readiness of his committee to provide the necessary support for the corporation to discharge its duties without hindrance.
He acknowledged the corporation’s efforts at deepening transparency and accountability, stressing that the Committee was impressed with the level of professionalism exhibited by the NNPC Management and the leadership role played by the GMD in rallying the oil and gas industry to provide support for the Federal Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.