Due to the absence of the Petroleum Industry Act, President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented a loss of $50 billion in investments in the petroleum industry since 2011.
Buhari made this claim during a ceremony marking the passage of the PIB in Abuja on Wednesday, which preceded the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, stated this in a release headed, “Nigeria Lost Estimated $50 Billion in Investments in 10 Years Due To Stagnation, Uncertainty Over Petroleum Industry, Says President Buhari”.
According to the President, the loss was caused by the uncertainty surrounding the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, as well as a lack of progress and stagnation in the petroleum industry, which he attributed to previous administrations’ lack of political will to implement the necessary changes.
The President reiterated that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill on August 16, 2021, will bring an end to decades of uncertainty and underinvestment in Nigeria’s petroleum industry.
He said, “We are all aware that past administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was a 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 10 years, Nigeria has lost an estimated $50bn worth of investments due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB”.
The release further notes that the current administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help Nigeria attract investments across the oil and gas value chain.
“Given the value, our nation and investors will derive from a stable fiscal framework for the oil and gas industry, our administration has found it necessary to work with the two chambers of the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the PIB”.
The bill’s signing, according to the president, is part of the regime’s commitment to developing a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that will attract investment, increase income, generate jobs, and promote the economic diversification strategy.
He went on to say that the PIA was required because Nigeria’s petroleum business is mostly governed by laws enacted more than 50 years ago, such as the Petroleum Act of 1969 and other outdated legislation. He urged host towns to accept the new legislation, claiming that it would help them in the long run.
The Act also provides for a direct benefit framework that will enable the 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 of the project in host communities,’’ he added.
He asked all key stakeholders to comply and reposition for full activation within 12 months while demanding the prompt execution of the PIA framework.
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Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, will lead the implementation team, according to him, and has urged all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to acclimatize to the transition, which is intended to reorient the economy.
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 Hon 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.
Buhari also commended the 9th National Assembly for passing the bill in a spirit of fraternal cooperation with the Executive.
Dr Ahmed Lawan, Senate President; Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Senate President; Ahmed Wase, Deputy Speaker; and other lawmakers, members of the Federal Executive Council, and Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of NNPC, were in attendance.