Some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have tasked the incoming 9th National Assembly to speedily pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for the president’s assent.
They made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Mr Chikezie Nwosu, the Executive Vice-President, Business Development, Tolea Energy Ltd., Lagos, said the passage of the bill was necessary to enable the anticipated growth of the sector.
Nwosu said that the PIB in its current four components — the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), the Petroleum Host and Impacted Community Bill (PHICB), Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB) and Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB) — were long overdue for implementation.
According to Nwosu, there cannot be a perfect bill that will satisfy all stakeholders and instead of waiting unrealistically, it will do the industry a great deal to achieve 80 per cent of the PIB.
“To allow the PIB to slip beyond 2019 will, in my opinion, be tantamount to gross negligence by all stakeholders,” Nwosu, also a former Chairman and Member Board of Trustees, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) said.
Mr Adedayo Ojo, Chief Executive Officer, Caritas Communications, said the oil lease licences that were due for renewal should be addressed and the structure that would facilitate community co-ownership of industry assets needed to be formalised.
Ojo said that the first four years of President Buhari had done a lot to leap the fortunes of the industry because the government got a number of the IOC’s to return to implementing hitherto abandoned programmes.
Besides, he said that oil production had improved and there had been relative peace in the host communities.
The oil and gas expert added that the refineries should be sold out rightly to encourage market induced competition and the attendant improvement in products and services.
The former Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Olumide Ogunmade, said the oil and gas sector expected much from Buhari’s second coming.
Ogunmade said he expected Buhari to set the parameters for deregulation of the sector.
“I think it’s too late for the government spending money on the refineries because this will send wrong message to the investors in Dangote’s refinery and those in the modular refineries,’’ he said.
The ex-chairman said that government’s reluctance in quickening the deregulation of the downstream sector would be challenged by the coming on stream of both Dangote and the modular refineries.
Ogunmade said that government should continue to encourage investors toward the take off of the modular refineries.
He urged the government not commit public funds or allocate any source of funds to them because they were purely private projects. (NAN)