Some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry on Thursday commended the Senate for passing the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the passage of the Bill was a long-awaited exercise and that the legislation promised broad reforms to the nation’s downstream sector.
In passing the Bill on Thursday, the Senate said that it was its first tranche that was approved and that the second and final tranche was be passed subsequently.
The stakeholders said that the PIGB was the best legal regulatory framework for the country’s petroleum industry.
According to the Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd., Mr Emmanuel Iheanacho, the enactment was a welcome development which is capable of revamping the dwindling oil sector. Also Read; Benefits of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) To Nigerians – Sen. Tayo Alasoadura
“The law will liberalise and fully deregulate the downstream sector to operate without hindrance, and this will create right mix and completion for the sector.
“It will also bring about better economic value and attract investment to the country.
“The non-passage of the Bill all these years has caused the country to lose billions of naira in terms of investment, most of the opportunities were diverted to Ghana and Angola,’’ he said.
Mr Abiodun Adesanya, President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), said that the passage of the PIGB would bring the needed stability, transparency and accountability in the sector.
“ It is encouraging to see that we now have new set of rules and regulations that will guide operations in the oil and gas industry.
“This will create room for certainties and boost confidence for investors going forward.
“However, I want to hope that we will not have another set of delay from the executive from final signing it into law.
“If the executive is able to identify some loopholes in the PIGB that may set us back again. I hope that will not be the case,’’ he said.
The National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, said the Bill, when assented to would finally break NNPC’s monopoly.
Okoronkwo said that it was also gratifying that the law, when promulgated, would promote local content, adding that local industries would now have wider latitude to join the sector hitherto controlled by foreign oil companies.
He also said that the law would foster community development by ensuring peace in the oil-producing areas. (NAN)