The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, on Monday expressed optimism that the detailed legislative work done by the National Assembly on the Petroleum Industry Bill and the assent by the President will mark the the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity that will be beneficial to the petroleum industry and ultimately to the Nigerian people.
In a letter to the President, Secretary General, OPEC, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, who congratulated him, stated that Nigeria stands a chance to increase its crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, from 37 billion barrels.
The letter was sent to President Muhammadu Buhari shortly after he signed the nation’s Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law.
Barkindo told the President in the letter that with the stroke of a pen, he has inaugurated a new era for the industry following years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector.
He said, “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 4 mb/d and oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, while also drawing on the country’s vast natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy.
“In addition, these resources will 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.”
The OPEC Boss said the passage of the PIB by both houses of the National Assembly on 16 July 2021 and the act of signing it into law coincide with another significant milestone in Nigeria’s history – the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s Membership of OPEC.
He added, “This golden moment provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon Nigeria’s rise as a global energy supplier and partner. Since the 24th OPEC Conference on 12 July 1971, when Nigeria received a unanimous and enthusiastic welcome as the 11th Member Country of the Organization, our country has come to symbolize Africa’s leadership within OPEC and its pivotal support for global oil market stability.”
Barkindo, who noted that the past year has been a time of enormous challenges for the world, for OPEC, and for each Member Country, further said that throughout the difficult period, members have demonstrated the enduring importance of OPEC and its timeless commitment to dialogue, cooperation, multilateralism and respect among all nations.
He added, “In this respect, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your instrumental support in establishing the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) that was agreed on 10 December 2016.
“We could not envision at that time how important this framework would become during the COVID-19-related market crisis.
“It enabled bold, swift and decisive actions to address the historically unprecedented market downfall in 2020, and it has been vital to the ongoing efforts to provide a platform for recovery and future growth.
“Furthermore, your support of the Charter of Cooperation, signed on 2 July 2019, has paved the way for enhanced cooperation beyond the market balancing efforts by all countries participating in the DoC.
“The markets continue to recognize the vital contributions that OPEC and the non-OPEC Participating Countries are making to the market’s recovery, to the global economy as a whole, and to fostering constructive dialogue.”