By Edith Ike-Eboh
An energy expert, Mr Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, says the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) into law will facilitate massive investment in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Okoroafor in an Interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday noted that the law would guarantee trust for investors,
The National Assembly in March passed an aspect of the age-long PIB as a new framework to regulate the petroleum sector.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki during the passage of bill said: “This bill, PIGB, that has been here for many years , we made a commitment and it is being fulfilled.
“The bill is not only for Nigerians but for our investors. We are proud of what has been done,’’ he said.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to give assent to the bill to enable it to become law.
Okorafor said: most investors believed that the PIGB meant to address issues concerning the oil and gas industry in Nigeria might not become law before the next election.
“The investors’ dilemmas are the risks associated with uncertainty. Most investors are still waiting for the full passage of the PIGB.
“They are not sure of the effect of the PIGB on their businesses,’’ Okoroafor said
According to him, operators with onshore assets are of the view that the law will affect their current and future earnings because of higher taxes and host community levies.
He said operators on deep water assets were worried about regulatory and fiscal issues.
“ We are still optimistic about investments coming into the petroleum industry in Nigeria if we can get our acts together, pass the full PIGB and have a peaceful election,’’ he said.
The PIGB seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and provide for the establishment of Federal Ministry of petroleum incorporated.
It also aims to establish Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company and National Petroleum Company and Petroleum Equalisation Fund.
The proposed law is expected to impose five per cent levy on fuel sold across the country, he said.
Meanwhile, Okorafor commended Buhari for signing the gas flare commercialisation project considering that the outlook for gas flare commercialisation projects presently looked good. (NAN)