Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari says the country lost an estimated $50 billion worth of investments in 10 years due to the uncertainty of non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Buhari stated this in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Wednesday at a ceremony to mark the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which preceded the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The Nigerian leader said the absence of the PIA also created stagnation in the petroleum industry which affected the growth of the economy, citing a lack of political will on the part of past administrations to actualise the needed transformation.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina in a statement said the assent given to the Petroleum Industry Bill by Mr Buhari on Monday marked the end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in the petroleum industry.
“We are all aware that past administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was 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 ten years, Nigeria has lost an estimated US$50billion worth of investments due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB.
“This administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help our country attract investments across the oil and gas value chain.
“In view of 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,’’ he said.
He said the presidential assent of the bill to “Petroleum Industry Act 2021” marked the beginning of the journey towards a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that will attract investments to support the nation’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The “Petroleum Industry Act 2021” creates a regulatory environment that would ensure efficiency and accountability across the oil and gas value chain and reposition NNPC to a commercially driven National Petroleum Company that is accountable to the Federation.
“The Act also provides for a direct benefit framework that will enable 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 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 project in host communities,’’ he added.
By Abel Ejikeme