By Francis Ogwo
A call has been made by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to the National Assembly for the passage of a competitive Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which according to them will boost Nigerian’s investment potentials.
The call was made by LCCI Director General Muda Yusuf in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.
According to Yusuf, the LCCI had over the period pulled its weight behind the government in its bid to bring reforms to the country through a new Petroleum Industry Bill which is still awaiting National Assembly’s passage.
“The Lagos Chamber urges the National Assembly to put in place a law that will promote a more effective and efficient governance, administration, host community development and fiscal framework for the petroleum industry.
“A competitive Bill will help to preserve the integrity of the existing projects, whilst also encouraging future growth of production, and make Nigeria an investment destination of choice,” he said.
Yusuf noted that Nigeria is blessed with the largest oil and gas reserves in Africa, and has huge untapped potential to achieve its economic development goals, including gas-to-power ambitions while adding that despite having the largest reserves in Africa, Nigeria only receives four per cent ($3 billion) of $75 billion, invested in the continent between 2015 and 2019.
He was of the view that it justifies the need to create a competitive environment to attract investment to the oil and gas sector, stating that the key objectives of the PIB 2020, among many others, include reforming the institutional and fiscal framework and developing Nigeria’s gas sector.
The LCCI boss said it was also aimed at creating a framework to support the development of host communities and foster sustainable prosperity, as well as bringing in new investments to grow the country’s production capacity.
He said: “However, some of these improvements appear insufficient to deliver the true value to Nigeria, which the bill aims to achieve.
“Some provisions in the bill could adversely affect the growth of the industry and the overall economy.
“We firmly believe that based on constructive co-operation between the Nigerian Government and other stakeholders, host communities and Industry, the objectives of reform can be successfully met.” Yusuf concluded.
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is an omnibus law meant to regulate the entire sphere of the industry and repeal all current existing oil and gas legislation.
Industry players lament that the bill had struggled to see the light of day despite its introduction to the National Assembly over 16 years ago.