The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has also commended the Ninth Assembly for passing the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, adding that it is a welcome development. We commend the coordinated efforts of the House and Senate, specifically the Committees involved in the process. We hope that the concerns raised by investors in the petroleum sector have been taken into account before the passage of the bill.
The President of LCCI, Toki Mabogunje, stated this during her address on the state of the economy in Lagos.
“Although the bill is coming at a time the global energy environment is gradually shifting attention to clean energy, nevertheless the bill is expected to reform the fiscal and regulatory framework of the oil and gas sector; bolster investor confidence in the industry and economy at large, and unlock numerous investment opportunities in the various value chain within the oil sector”, she said.
“Similarly, bill makes case for the total deregulation of the downstream sector, elimination of Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, and Petroleum Equalization Fund, PEF, transformation of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to a commercial-driven entity and implementation of market-based pricing mechanism for petroleum products.
Speaking on Sanctity of Contracts for Construction Companies, she said that feedback from stakeholders in the construction industry revealed that sanctity of contracts remains a challenge faced by indigenous construction companies. “Defaults on contract agreements have become a recurring incidence. Many local contractors have suffered in the hands of government and private sector in terms of non-payment of services rendered. We call on government to enact and implement a national framework on sanctity of contracts for construction projects. “Government and private clients are enjoined to pay for construction projects according to the terms and agreements of the project. A legal mechanism that is modelled after the U.S for speedy adjudication of cases and resolution of disputes on construction projects and related matters would boost investor confidence in the sector”, stressed the President.
The Chamber according to her notes that despite the interventions and steps taken by the governments (Federal and Lagos State), the burdensome process of moving goods from the ports and extortions by government agencies persist. “The bottlenecks with clearing of cargoes especially the activities of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, constitute significant deadweight to the process. We advocate for an urgent reformation of the NCS through executive orders or legislative actions to enable Customs discharge its trade facilitation functions effectively. We call for proper management of the roads leading to the ports and the withdrawal of government officials from the roads to curbs the persistent traffic situation at the Lagos ports”, she maintained.