The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has once again drawn the attention of the Federal Government to the urgent need to put in place the necessary laws required to fix the numerous governance problems confronting the oil and gas sector.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio stated this in Abuja at the opening of a Symposium to set the agenda on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) recently passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly. Mr. Adio identified the protracted delays in passing these laws as responsible for the uncertainties and stagnation of investment opportunities in the sector.
“NEITI published a policy brief in October 2016, entitled ‘The Urgency of a New Petroleum Sector Law.’ The paper estimated the cost of business uncertainty, lack of clarity and adequate transparency mechanism in eight years at more than $200bn. The paper showed how Nigeria is increasingly in competition for oil and gas investment with many other African countries, not to talk of other jurisdictions, ”Mr. Adio stated.
The Executive Secretary explained that the objective of convening the symposium was to discuss what needs to be done and urgently too to build on the successes recorded so far by the passage of the PIGB by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“Now that we are hopefully close to the end of this circuitous journey, it is important for us to focus on the next tasks in a way that will proactively and strategically ensure that the intentions of the proposed laws are fully realized that we have not undertaken the long journey in vain,” Adio remarked.
In a message, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu underlined the importance of early passage of the relevant laws required to reposition the sector in view of the strategic implications for increasing revenue generation, investments, job creation and improved governance of the industry.