Nigeria has lost up to $50billion in investments, owing to delayed passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in the last 10 years, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
He said though past presidents had identified the need to further align the oil industry for global competitiveness, there was lack of political will to actualise this.
President Buhari spoke at Aso Villa on Wednesday, during a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on the PIB, signed into law on Monday.
The current National Assembly passed the bill after 20 years of back and forth by previous assemblies.
“We are all aware that past administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was a 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,” the President said.
“In the past 10 years, Nigeria has lost an estimated $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,” he added.
The President also approved the implementation framework for the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and named the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva as head of the steering committee.
The committee was given 12 months to complete its assignment.
Other members of the Committee are Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service and representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Others are Senior Special Assistant to the President on Natural Resources, Olufemi Lijadu (External Legal Adviser); Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (to serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group).
The steering committee are to ensure that the new institutions created have the full capability to deliver on their mandate.
President Buhari said the passage of the PIB into law marked the end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in the petroleum industry.
“To consolidate the commitment of this administration to delivering the value proposition of this law, I have approved an implementation framework commencing immediately to ensure the industry envisaged in the new law begins to take shape,” he said.
“The implementation process to be headed by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, is hereby tasked with the completion of the implementation of this Act within 12 months,” he added.