PIB will move petroleum industry power from people to institutions – Expert

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An oil and gasoline skilled, Mr Isreal Aye has said the Petroleum Business Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly will move power within the petroleum industry from people to institutions.

Aye, the Senior Partner, Energy and Commercial Contracts, Primera Africa Legal, made the assertion on Wednesday in Lagos at a Media Engagement Session on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The session was organised by the Facility for Oil Sector Transformation Project (FOSTER).

Aye stated that under the present 1969 Petroleum Act, the regulation of the petroleum trade was vested in a single individual (the Minister of Petroleum), including that had created a myriad of problems.

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He, however, stated the PIB would bring a lot of changes in the sector such as the creation of more jobs, the expansion of the tax base and the creation of a new company called the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC Ltd).

“The current NNPC will continue to exist but not as the trading platform.

“The new NNPC Ltd which is to be created under the Corporate Affairs Commission will no longer be funded by appropriation.

“It will likely be funded by fairness and debt and it’ll hopefully be free from public burden,” he stated.

He stated presently, no department was created by regulation to control the petroleum industry and that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), a delegate of the Minister of Petroleum, had no statutory basis for its existence.

He stated that the Petroleum Act didn’t provide for an independent regulator of the petroleum industry and that the scope of the minister of petroleum’s supervisory function was not clear.

The oil and fuel expert said that the delay within the passage of the PIB had created an aura of uncertainty for individuals looking to invest in the industry.

He stated said that the absence of a clear cut legal and fiscal framework within the nation’s oil and gas industry, would make it almost impossible to attract investors.

“The delay within the passage of the PIB has created a state of uncertainty as no investor will model uncertainty. As a result, we’ve got had a steady decline in investment.

“If there is a time the PIB is to be passed into legislation, it’s now due to the dynamics within the legislature,” he stated. (NAN)

ADM

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