New Telegraph

PIB: Experts upgrade prosperity forecast for Nigeria

…say host communities’ rejection of 3% needless

Experts and other stakeholders in the Nigeria’s multi-billion dollars oil and gas industry have upgraded forecast for Nigeria’s oil prosperity over the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), calling on President Muhammadu Buhari not to delay assent to the bill.

They, in separate interviews with New Telegraph, expressed optimism that reforms needed to grow the sector would happen following last Thursday’s passage of PIB into law by the National Assembly. Adeniran Alamutu, a petroleum engineer, told this newspaper that he, based on tremendous benefits of the bill to the nation, expected no delay in Presidential assent.

“The bill is both and executive bill as well as a legislative bill. The president is fully aware of the benefits of its passage and no one expect delay in Presidential assent to the bill,” he said. The PIB, which has been in the making for 20 years, will replace the obsolete Petroleum Act of 1969. While reacting to the passage of PIB, energy expert, Mr. Michael Faniran, also described it as a welcome development, saying everybody was happy with the National Assembly despite the length of time it took get the bill passed. Faniran expressed optimism that the bill, when signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, would create an efficient industry with independent governing bodies. “For the Upstream and the Downstream, the governing bodies have clear aims and objectives. It is my hope that this will promote transparency that is not just one person who will be policy maker and regulator,” he noted. He said that the new law would also attract the needed investments as the direction, which the government has decided to follow, had become clear, “now there is clarity.

It is not whether it is good or not, it is now clear where government is going. “So anybody who wants to invest now knows where the government is going.” The bill has awarded gas flaring fines and three per cent of the total investment as development fund to host community, an appropriation that has been rejected by a section of the host and impacted communities. The communities had demanded 25 per cent. Faniran, however, called for understanding, saying the PIB has established a good starting point. “If anyone is not satisfied with the provision, I think amendment can come later to accommodate new thinking. “We cannot get everything right at the same time; we will keep correcting it. Today is a good day for the oil industry after many years,” Faniran added.

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