PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria lost about $50bn worth of investment in the last decade due to uncertainty over non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The President said the delay was the reason for the lack of progress and stagnation in the country.
According to a statement released on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said the stagnation affected the growth of the economy.
He stated that his predecessors in the last administration lacked will power, adding that the Bill marked the end of decades of uncertainty and low investment in the petroleum industry.
The President said, “We are all aware that past administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was a lack of political will to actualise 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 $50bn worth of investment due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB.
“This administration believes that the passage of the PIB will help our country attract investment 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.”
The President said signing of the Bill into law was part of the administration’s commitment to building a competitive and resilient petroleum industry.
He added that it would attract investment, improve revenue base, create jobs and support economic diversification agenda.
He said “Nigeria is a nation that depends on oil resources for the development of other sectors. Nigeria runs a petroleum industry that is governed largely by laws enacted over 50 years ago such as the principal legislation; the Petroleum Act of 1969 and other obsolete legislations.
“The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 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 ecosystem that will 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 country.”
According to the President, 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 giving directives on immediate implementation of the framework for the Act, he tasked all relevant stakeholders to reposition for full activation within 12 months.
The President appointed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva to head the implementation team, urging all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to adjust to the transition designed to fix the economy.