President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria lost an estimated $50billion worth of investments in ten years, created by the uncertainty of non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), lack of progress and stagnation in the petroleum industry.
Buhari said this in his remarks at a ceremony on passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which preceded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the President said the stagnation affected growth of the economy, citing lack of political will on the part of past administrations to actualize the needed transformation.
He said assent of the Petroleum Industry Bill on August 16, 2021, marks 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,” Buhari said.
“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.”
Buhari noted that the signing of the bill was part of the administration’s commitment to building a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that will attract investment, improve our revenue base, create jobs and support our economic diversification agenda.
He said as a “nation that depends on oil resources for the development of other sectors, Nigeria runs a Petroleum Industry that is governed largely by laws enacted over 50 years ago such as the principal legislation; the Petroleum Act of 1969 and other obsolete legislations.”
The president said the his 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,” Buhari said.
“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.”