PIB to PIA: Matters arising - OPID News

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Friday, 20 August 2021

PIB to PIA: Matters arising

 PIB to PIA: Matters arising

Nigeria may have lost  about $50 billion in estimated investment for not passing the PIB. This is why stakeholders are convinced that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill by President Muhammadu

Buhari may have opened another phase in the oil and gas sector. But discordant tunes have continued to trail the law, causing division among stakeholders. How far can the Act rev the industry, nay, the economy, MUYIWA LUCAS reports.

Given the over 20 years wait to get the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) passed by the National Assembly (NASS), stakeholders believe that its eventual passage would have erupted in jubilation in the industry. But, alas, the reverse seems to be the case.

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Since the Senate passed the PIB on July 1, 2021, there have been different lines of argument on the content of the PIB. Now, the signing of the PIB into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last Monday appears to have further divided stakeholders on the matter.

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With the President assenting to the document, the PIB has now metamorphosed into a law, that is, Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.

Support

For some, this act signifies the country’s readiness for a new regime in the oil and gas economy.  For instance, the Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, expressed delight with the development, describing it as a “significant milestone for Nigeria’s oil industry and an historic achievement for President Buhari’s administration.”

To him, the PIA marks a new era for the industry, especially after years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the sector.

“Indeed, the new law will enhance the Nigerian petroleum industry’s reputation, open the door to new investment, and ultimately strengthen its position to meet the world’s growing demand for energy. The enactment of this legislation is especially timely as the investment outlook becomes clouded by efforts aimed at accelerating a lower-carbon future. Furthermore, the new law will help harness Nigeria’s potential to achieve its programme of raising oil production to four million barrels per day and oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, while also drawing on the country’s vast natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy,” Barkindo said.

He added that the resources would be vital to supplying world markets with a broad portfolio of energy options, and support global efforts to alleviate energy poverty as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Subsidy burden

Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva,is convinced that the removal of petrol subsidy is in the best interest of the country, especially as the PIB has no provision for subsidy.

“This (subsidy removal) is desirable for the interest and growth of Nigeria. Of course, everybody will have their perspectives, but from where I sit, I believe that subsidy removal is the best thing for Nigeria, not just the industry,” he said.





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