PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday kicked off the implementation of the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by appointing Timipre Sylva to head the steering committee to oversee the process.
A statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, gave the names of other members of the steering committee to include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Representative of the Ministry of Justice, Representative of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Natural Resources, Olufemi Lijadu as External Legal Adviser, while the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), will serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group
The primary responsibility of the steering committee, the statement said, is to guide the effective and timely implementation of the PIA in the course of transition to the petroleum industry envisaged in the reform program, and ensure that the new institutions created have the full capability to deliver on their mandate under the new legislation.
The committee has 12 months to carry out its tasks with instruction to give periodic updates to the President.
Meanwhile the president has revealed that Nigeria lost an estimated $50 billion worth of investments in 10 years as a result of the uncertainty created by the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) leading to lack of progress and stagnation in the oil industry.
Femi Adesina in a statement quoted President Buhari to have stated in his remarks at the official ceremony on the passage of the PIA, which preceded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, that the stagnation affected growth of the economy, citing lack of political will on the part of past administrations to actualise the needed transformation.
The President said his signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law on August 16, 2021 marks the end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in the petroleum 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 actualize 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$50 billion 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.
The president said as a “nation that depends on oil resources for the development of other sectors, Nigeria runs the sector with obsolete laws enacted over 50 years ago such as the Petroleum Act of 1969 among others.
The Petroleum Industry Act 2021, he said marks 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.
“Furthermore, the Act provides for deliberate end to gas flaring which would facilitate the attainment of Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions of the Paris Agreement through a funding mechanism to support gas flare out project in host communities,” he added.
While directing the immediate implementation of the framework for the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), he urged all relevant stakeholders to comply and reposition for full activation within 12 months and urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to adjust to the transition, designed to reposition the economy.
“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.
“The implementation process to be headed by the Hon Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, is hereby tasked with the completion of the implementation of this act within 12 months. I am therefore directing all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to fully cooperate in ensuring the successful and timely implementation of this law,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, and other lawmakers, members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari.