The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has described as a historic development, the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Petroleum Industry Law.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in a statement in Abuja today said the new Law has ended decades of uncertainty concerning the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
According to Dr. Orji “The new law has opened a new phase of wider opportunities in the oil and gas industry. For us in NEITI, President Buhari has broken new grounds, created new business horizon built on healthy legal frameworks that will push the boundaries of reforms in the sector with realistic optimism for inflow of investments, revenue growth and job opportunities”.
The transparency Boss applauded the signifance of the Presidential assent to the Bill adding that NEITI looks forward to playing active roles in designing a new future for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry under the new Petroleum Industry Act.
“The signing into Law of the PIB has demonstrated government’s resolve to strengthen governance processes and systems especially in the extractive industry through an institutional and legal framework. NEITI is encouraged by the development” Dr. Orji stated.
The NEITI Executive Secretary expressed delight that the “The Petroleum Industry Law will provide the dynamic legal governance framework required to re-position Nigeria’s Petroleum industry to fully embrace competition, openness, accountability, professionalism and better profit returns on investments to both companies and government”.
He further stated “I want to also use this opportunity to call on companies, government agencies and civil society involved in the oil and gas sector governance to give this Law a chance to succeed. NEITI as an agency with legitimate interest in the Law will carefully study the contents of the new Law and work closely with national and global partners especially the EITI to use the Law to open the Nigeria oil and gas sector for transparency, accountability and inflow of foreign direct investments into Nigeria.
NEITI is hopeful that with the new Petroleum Industry Law in place, the huge revenue losses which Nigeria has witnessed over these years as a result of process lapses and weaknesses in previous Laws governing operations in the sector will be strictly checked, while restoring investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Reacting to the passage, Goke Dele, Group Chief Executive Officer, Quest Oil Group, said the passage of the PIB marks a new dawn and the beginning of a major repositioning of the Nigerian oil & gas Industry.
According to Dele, Through this bill we expect to see free market economy in operations within the downstream sector which would give the Nigerian economy a major boost.
In his reaction, Dr. Muda Yusuf
Economist and Former DG LCCI, said the Presidential assent to the PIB is a welcome development.
Yusuf observed that, Although it is not a perfect legislation because not all the concerns of major stakeholders have been addressed by the legislation, it is surely an improvement over the current legislative framework.
“Am aware that the oil companies were concerned about the adequacy of the fiscal terms in the PIB. The host communities also had reservations about the percentage contribution to host communities fund. But we can always improve on those provisions with time. Issues of this nature are typically work in progress.” he said.
National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, however expressed the fear that many operators in the downstream will be thrown out of business as cost of products procurement will go up.
According to Okoronkwo, this will create initial shock given that only those with capital can make purchase of products, and many who are trading with bank facilities would have difficulty repaying their loans if they can’t procure new products.