Delay In Passage Of PIB Cost Nigeria $50bn In Last Decade – Buhari

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NNPC
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria lost about $50bn worth of investment in the last decade.

He noted that this was due to uncertainty over non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which he said was the reason for the lack of progress and stagnation in the country.

According to a statement released on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said this at a ceremony on Wednesday, in Abuja.

In the statement, the President said “the stagnation affected growth of the economy”, saying that his predecessors in the last administration lacked will power.

He asserted that, the day PIB was passed, marked the end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in the petroleum industry.

The President further said, “We are all aware that past administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was a lack of political will to actialize 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 $50bn worth of investment due to uncertainty created by the non passage of the PIB”.

“This administration believes that that the times passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help our country attract investment 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.

The President asserted that signing of the bill was part of the administration’s commitment to building a competitive and resilient petroleum industry.

He added that it will attract investment, improve revenue base, create jobs and support economic diversification agenda.

President Buhari said “ Nigeria is 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.’’

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 President added that “The Petroleum Industry Act 2021, creates a regulatory ecosystem 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 country.

“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.

Continuing, President Buhari noted that the administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help the nation attract investments across the oil and gas value chain.

While giving directives on immediate implementation of the framework for the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), he tasked all relevant stakeholders to adhere and reposition for full activation within 12 months.

The President appointed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, to head the implementation team, urging all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to adjust to the transition, designed to fix the economy.

“To consolidate the commitment of this administration to delivering the value proposition of this law, I have approved an implementation framework commencing immediately to ensure the industry envisaged in the new law begins to take shape.

“The implementation process to be headed by the Hon Minister of State, Petroleum Resources is hereby tasked with the completion of the implementation of this act within 12 months. I am therefore directing all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to fully cooperate in ensuring the successful and timely implementation of this law,’’ he said.

The President also commended leadership of the 9th Assembly for their evergreen pursuit of national aspiration and demonstration of mutual harmony with the Executive in the pursuit of patriotic outcome in passage of PIB.

“I also commend the entire team in the executive that worked tirelessly to ensure the delivery of this strategic legislation for our country. I thank Nigerians and other industry stakeholders for their contributions and support in achieving this historic landmark, the President said.

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