Kachikwu: FG to Sanction More Projects in Absence of PIB

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that despite the non-passage of the remaining components of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the federal government would continue to drive the practicable aspects of oil and gas policies to purse investments that would keep the industry going.

Speaking to journalists after visiting the state-of-the-art fabrication and integration facility built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in LADOL Free Zone in Lagos, Kachikwu said the Bonga South West project would also bring additional investment of up to $11 billion into the sector.

The PIB was originally submitted to the National Assembly by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and a revised version submitted by his predecessor, former President Goodluck Jonathan but was not passed by the National Assembly.

But on assumption of office, this present administration had split the PIB into four components – Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB), Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB) and Petroleum Host Community Bill (PHCB) to fast-track its passage into law.
However, only the PIGB has been passed into law by the National Assembly and waiting presidential assent.

Kachikwu, however, noted that what were required to boost investments in the absence of the PIB are policy thrusts and the incentives to drive those policy thrusts.
“It has to be a combination of those but certainly, investments in the sector are booming. This (Egina deepwater project) is a $16 billion investment. If Bonga came today, it is $9 billion, $10 billion and may be, $11 billion investment. Zababazaba is fairly a healthy sum. Infrastructure is ready for revamp. There are so much opportunities. What we need is to get the policy thrust and the incentives to drive the policy thrust,” Kachikwu explained.

Kachikwu added that the right policies to drive investments were ramping up.
“We have passed the gas policy; we have passed the petroleum policy; it is the fiscal policy that we are negotiating and discussing with the industry; that is ongoing. But in terms of legislating the policies, that is outside my powers – that goes to the National Assembly. The National Assembly, in fairness, has been able to pass the PIGB – a good feat, after eight years. The fiscals are being considered; the Host Community Bill is being considered,” Kachikwu said.
The minister noted that both the legislature and the executive are working collaboratively to ensure that the remaining bills are passed into the law.

According to him, there is a lot of momentum around the passage of the other bills, stressing that the fact that the PIGB has been passed is a very good beginning.
“But what we are continuing to do is that irrespective of the legislation of the policies, we are driving the practical aspects of the policies and continuing with whatever investments that are essential to keep us going,” he added.

Kachikwu disclosed that the dearth of jobs in fabrication yards across the country was a major concern that government would continue to address.
“It is a major concern obviously, but I think we are going to work hard to see how we are going to bring to fruition, a lot of other company-jobs that are locked in the corners like the Bonga, provided we can reach proper terms,” Kachikwu said.

Source: Thisday

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