The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday, approved a steering committee to supervise the implementation of the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari Approves Steering Committee on Petroleum Industry Act’.
According to the statement, the steering committee, which is headed by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has 12 months to complete its assignment.
Other members of the committee are the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr Nasir Gwarzo; the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari; Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami; a representative of the Ministry of Justice; a representative of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Natural Resources, Olufemi Lijadu as External Legal Adviser; while the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Dr Bello Gusau, will serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group.
Adesina stated, “The steering committee shall guide the effective and timely implementation of the PIA in the course of transition to the petroleum industry envisaged in the reform programme, and ensure that the new institutions created have the full capability to deliver on their mandate under the new legislation.
“The committee has 12 months for the assignment and periodic updates will be given to the President.”
In a related development, the President, on Wednesday, lamented the loss of $50bn worth of investments in the petroleum industry since 2011 due to the absence of the PIA.
Buhari made this assertion in Abuja at a ceremony on the passage of the PIA, which preceded the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Adesina disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria Lost Estimated $50bn worth of Investments in 10 years due to Stagnation, Uncertainty over Petroleum Industry, says President Buhari’.
According to the President, the loss was due to the uncertainty of the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and lack of progress and stagnation in the petroleum industry, which he blamed on the lack of political will on the part of past administrations to actualise the needed transformation.
The President said his assent to the PIB on August 16, 2021, marked the end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in Nigeria’s petroleum industry.
He said, “We are all aware that past administrations had 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 stagnated the growth of the industry and the prosperity of our economy. In the past 10 years, Nigeria lost an estimated $50bn worth of investments due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB.
“This administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help our country attract investments 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.”
Buhari noted that the signing of the bill was part of the regime’s commitment to building a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that would attract investment, improve revenue base, create jobs and support the economic diversification agenda.
He appealed to host communities to accept the new regulation, saying it would bring lasting benefits to them.
The President stated, “The Act also provides for a direct benefit framework that will enable the sustainable development of host communities. I appeal to the host communities to look carefully at the contents of the Act, whose implementation will bring real and lasting benefits to them.