President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to intervene and secure the political will to stop further loss of investments after loss of $80billion direct foreign investment and another $10billion fresh investment were recorded in the oil sector due to the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Experts in oil and gas and the civil society made the call on Tuesday in Abuja at stakeholders’ consultative dialogue on the PIB organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE).
The Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) Dr. Otive Igbuzor, said that there are prevailing opportunities to ensure the passage of the PIB and that the present administration’s change mantra be extended to the oil and gas sector of the country.
“The knowledge of what Nigerian is losing is becoming more widespread. According to Bank Anthony Okoroafor, the Chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Nigeria has lost $10bn (N1.7 trn) fresh investment to the non-passage of the PIB. According to Chuka Onuegbu, the Chairman Trade Union Congress (TUC) Rivers State, Nigeria has lost $80 bn in foreign direct investment from the delay in the passage of the PIB. The political leadership will lose any form of credibility left if the PIB is not passed before the end of the 8th Assembly,” Igbuzor said.
He however regretted that efforts by two successive sessions of the National Assembly to pass it into law were unsuccessful due to several factors, some related to the processes and others to its content.
“The need for the law is emphasized by the fact that there are fresh efforts by both the executive and legislature to commence the process of having it enacted. It has therefore become necessary for stakeholders to examine these new efforts in the light of previous experiences and make useful recommendations on how to ensure successful passage,” Rafsanjani said.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI Mr. Waziri Adio and Dr. Brown Ogbeifun of AFRITAL said the passage of the bill first initiated after 16 years, in April 2000, required the collaboration and persistent of stakeholders and all Nigerians.
Credit: All Africa