• Monday, March 04, 2024
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Egbogah revisits PIB at Petroleum Club

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Former Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Chairman, Emerald Energy Resources, Emmanuel Egbogah, in his presentation at the Petroleum Club, Lagos during a policy roundtable called on President Buhari to withdraw the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) from the National Assembly, have refinements made to the Bill, particularly the host community fund, royalty and governance, for clarity, to aid its successful implementation before resubmitting it to the 8th Assembly for speedy passage into law.

Egbogah said that the PIB is both a challenge and an opportunity. “In its present form, it is inconceivable that the National Assembly would pass the bill, although it has passed its second reading. It does, however, present the opportunity for a demonstration effect and a serious attempt to signal a clean-up of the policy space. The people of Nigeria and the lawmakers probably do see the challenge but certainly do not recognise and embrace the huge opportunity”, he added.

The Oil and Gas Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC) according to Egbogah presented the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in July of 2008 in which it sought to holistically restructure and reform Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and with a key objective to establish a progressive fiscal framework that encourages investment in the petroleum industry while optimizing revenues to the government.

“In the upstream, the funding issues faced by the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) needed to be addressed. The government also wished to revise the fiscal terms across the industry at time of rising oil prices in order to increase its tax revenues. The downstream sector was in disarray, with a failed refining industry, heavily subsidized fuel prices, and widespread abuse of a subsidy re-payment scheme to product importers that was costing the Government billions of dollars annually”.

Egogah said that the conceived PIB sought to resolve these issues by bringing the framework for an entire industry under a single legal framework, while repealing many of the obsolete Acts pertaining to it which have been passed since 1959.

The sixth National Assembly could not and did not pass the Bill into law before its life came to an end. In July 2012 a new draft of the PIB was submitted to the national Assembly for consideration and passage into law which it never did till the end of the 7th Assembly.

FRANK UZUEGBUNAM