Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will take care of agitations by host oil communities and ensure that the environment is protected from harm.
In an exclusive interview in the just-released OPEC bulletin, which was dedicated to Nigeria, the president stated that when it becomes law, the legislation will reinvigorate the oil and gas industry.
He said: “The Nigerian oil and gas industry needs reinvigoration in the presence of the global uncertainty and the threats surrounding the industry. This is the purpose of the PIB. We need more investment to be able to derive optimal benefits from these natural resources.
“We need a better enabling environment for growth in the industry. We need to take better care of the host communities. We need to be more environmentally conscious. And so the PIB is focused on all these, and more.”
He lauded the oil cartel for the role it has consistently played in the industry, saying that is important because without OPEC the oil industry would have been in a chaotic situation where the winner takes all.
He added: “Many countries, like Nigeria, would not have been able to develop their oil industry due to stiff competition. However, the good collaboration between OPEC member countries has made it possible to accommodate both the weak and strong players in the oil production industry. This has been very important, and a catalyst, to the development of Nigeria’s oil industry.”
According to him, the country must constantly look ahead and plan for the future to ensure that it does not get caught off guard, reason it has to keep investing and strengthening its local capability, both in technology and human resources.
He stated that being a member of OPEC has facilitated closer relationships and fostered bilateral cooperation in other fields and industries as members seek areas where they can be of help to one another.
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja