Nigeria losing N3tn annually to PIB delay – PWYP
Nigeria is losing about N3tn annually as a result of the prolonged delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, a non-governmental organisation that supports the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Publish What You Pay, said on Monday.
The PWYP said the attempt to enact the PIB, which it described as an effective and socio-economically beneficial law to regulate the petroleum industry, had lasted for close to two decades, passing through different administrations without commensurate results.
It noted that over the years, the country had been losing trillions of naira, as investors were denied the opportunity to invest in the oil sector due to the non-implementation of internationally acceptable laws that would support business.
Speaking at press conference on the various bills that were created from the omnibus PIB, the National Coordinator, PWYP Nigeria, Peter Egbule, said information made available to the group by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, was that Nigeria had been losing about N3tn annually due to the non-passage of the PIB.
“We are losing N3tn yearly due to the non-passage of the PIB. The continued delay in passing the PIB is denying our economy this huge fund. It stops about N3tn from coming into the economy on a yearly basis as explained by the minister of state for petroleum. This is not good for our country,” Egbule stated.
The PWYP coordinator also said it was unfortunate that a part of the PIB, the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, might not have been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
He explained, “Where exactly is the PIGB? There have been so much back and forth about this bill. The most recent information we got, sometime last month, was that the PIGB was still officially at the National Assembly. If it is still at the National Assembly, they should please transmit it to the President for his assent.
“Also, the President should please tell us if he is willing to sign the PIGB and whether he has received it or not, considering the very important nature of this bill to the oil and gas sector.”
Egbule observed that the substantive law currently guiding the operations, administration and the overarching regulation of the petroleum industry in Nigeria, the Petroleum Act of 1969, was enacted about 50 years ago.
“Some of the provisions of this Act have since been overtaken by significant changes in the domestic and global realities of the industry. In spite of this obvious need to restructure the regulatory frameworks of the entire petroleum value chain in Nigeria, successive administrations have failed to achieve this,” he said.
He stated that the PIB had been broken into four distinctive bills, the PIGB, Petroleum Industry Administrative Bill, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill, and Petroleum Host and Impacted Community Bill.
Egbule said, “We wish to remind the government and the governed that the passage of and signing into law of these bills is in the collective interest of all Nigerians, as this will create a more functional administrative structure, significantly reduce financial leakages, encourage foreign and domestic investments and provide succour for host communities, among others.
“We hope and expect that the President will assent to the PIGB and the other bills whenever they are transmitted to him, but we also recognise that it is his right to refuse assent. If the latter happens, it will be disappointing to well-meaning Nigerians, resulting in another round of legislative reconsiderations, political intrigues, delays and public frustration.”