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Nigeria loses $50bn investments to petroleum industry stagnation –Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the nation lost about $50 billion worth of investments in 10 years as a result of the uncertainty caused by the nonpassage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law by the National Assembly. The delay in the passage of the PIB, according to the President, resulted into lack of progress and stagnation in the petroleum industry which adversely affected the nation’s economy.

Buhari, in his remarks yesterday at a ceremony on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) preceding the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) he chaired, maintained that the new law would attract investments, create jobs and improve the country’s revenues. He blamed the delay in the passage of the law by past administrations on their lack of political will to actualise the needed transformation in the petroleum Industry.

The President said his assent to the bill marked an end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in the industry. “We are all aware that past Administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was lack of political will to actualise 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 US$50billion worth of investments due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB.

“This administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help our country attract investments 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. While noting that the signing of the bill was part of the administration’s commitment to building a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that would attract investment, im-prove revenue base, create jobs and support economic diversification agenda, Buhari said Nigeria, being a nation depending largely on petroleum resources for development of other sectors, could no longer continue to rely on obsolete laws to run the industry.

He said as 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.’’ Buhari added that 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 “Petroleum Industry Act 2021” creates a regulatory environment 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 Federation. “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.”

 

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