The passage of Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, has gathered momentum as the National Assembly is putting all necessary things in place to see that the bill is passed.
Industry players maintained that the delay in the passage of the bill has affected the Oil and Gas Industry negatively as it discouraged investments due to lack of policy direction with regards to a framework to drive investment in the Industry.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva stated this at the August Webinar Edition hosted by Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists,NAPE, titled “Fiscal Regime Design, Government Revenue and Investors Interest in Nigeria Oil and Gas Sector”.
He lamented the poor investment and development in the nation’s midstream sector.
Fast tracking the passage of the bill is in line with the Federal government desire to end the delays associated with the bill in the past 20 years.
According to the Minister, his Ministry has finished the drafting work. Adding that the Federal Ministry of Justice has also finished aligning the bill with the existing laws in the industry.
He therefore said it is now for NASS to receive the draft and move ahead to pass the bill. He hinted being in touch with the law makers who had given him the assurance that the bill will not stay in the National Assembly more than six month from the time they receive the drafts.
He call on investors to invest in the midstream sector.”The midstream is non existance in Nigeria” he said. In response to whether the government will continue to encourage investment and remove monopoly in the gas subsector, he explained that PIB when it is passed will make it impossible to encourage monopoly in the subsector.
“Though only few operators are existing in the gas subsector. But we will not promote monopoly” he said.
According to him the ministry is receiving a lot of interest from investors now expressing desires to come into the pipeline business.
On his mandate to increase the nation’s production capacity to 3 million barrel per day, the minister maintained that he was looking forward to increase the nation’s production volume. However, he noted that the pandemic coupled with OPEC production cuts have attributed to no small measure in restraining the nation desire to hit 3 million barrels.
But with the expectation from Bonga South and West coupled with the plan to embark on another major bid round after the marginal field bid round the Minister is optimistic that Nigeria will be able to attain 3 million barrels particularly when the PIB has been passed by NASS.