Nigeria: NEITI, OPEC, others applaud President’s signing of PIB into law

MINA Blog- The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some stakeholders on Monday applauded the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).


The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said this in a statement signed by Mrs Obiageli Onuorah, Head Communication and Advocacy, in Abuja, described the exercise as a historic development, Orji said the new Petroleum Industry Law had ended decades of uncertainty concerning the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.


“The new law has opened a new phase of wider opportunities in the oil and gas industry.


“For us in NEITI, President Muhammadu Buhari has broken new grounds, created new business horizon built on healthy legal frameworks with realistic optimism for inflow of investments, revenue growth and job opportunities,” he said.


He applauded the Presidential assent to the bill, adding that NEITI looked forward to playing active roles in designing a new future for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry under the new Petroleum Industry Act.


“The signing into Law of the PIB has demonstrated government’s resolve to strengthen governance processes and systems, especially in the extractive industry through an institutional and legal framework.


“NEITI is encouraged by the development,” he noted.


Orji further expressed delight that the “The Petroleum Industry Law will provide the dynamic legal governance framework required to re-position Nigeria’s petroleum industry to fully embrace competition, openness, accountability and professionalism.


According to him, the law will bring about better returns on investments to both companies and government.


“I want to also use this opportunity to call on companies, government agencies and civil societies involved in the oil and gas sector governance to give this law a chance to succeed.


“NEITI will study the contents of the new law and work with national and global partners, especially the EITI to use the law to open the Nigeria oil and gas sector for transparency, accountability and inflow of foreign direct investments into Nigeria.


 “NEITI is hopeful that the huge revenue losses which Nigeria has witnessed over these years as a result of process lapses and weaknesses in previous laws will be checked, while restoring investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector,” he said


OPEC congratulates Buhari


The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).


The Secretary General of OPEC, Dr Mohammed Barkindo, said this in a congratulatory letter said, “I wish to extend my congratulations to you on signing into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which marks a significant milestone for Nigeria’s oil industry and an historic achievement for your Presidency.


“With the stroke of a pen, you have inaugurated a new era for the industry following years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector.


“Indeed, the new law will enhance the Nigerian petroleum industry’s reputation, open the door to new investment and ultimately strengthen its position to meet the world’s growing demand for energy.”


He added that the enactment of the legislation was timely as the investment outlook had become clouded by efforts aimed at accelerating a lower-carbon future.


According to him, the new law will help harness Nigeria’s potential to achieve its programme of raising oil production to 4 mb/d and oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, while also drawing on the country’s vast natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy.


“In addition, these resources will be vital to supplying world markets with a broad portfolio of energy options, and support global efforts to alleviate energy poverty as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7.


“The passage of the PIB by both houses of the National Assembly on 16 July and your act of signing it into law coincide with another significant milestone in our country’s history – the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s Membership of OPEC.


“This golden moment provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon Nigeria’s rise as a global energy supplier and partner,” he noted.


The OPEC scribe said since the 24th OPEC Conference on 12 July 1971, when Nigeria was welcomed as the 11th member country of the organisation, it had symbolised Africa’s leadership within OPEC and its pivotal support for global oil market stability.


He said the past year had been a time of enormous challenges for the world, for OPEC and for each member country.


“Yet throughout this difficult period, we have demonstrated the enduring importance of OPEC and its timeless commitment to dialogue, cooperation, multilateralism and respect among all nations.


“I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your instrumental support in establishing the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) that was agreed on 10 December 2016.


“We could not envision at that time how important this framework would become during the COVID-19-related market crisis.


“It enabled bold, swift and decisive actions to address the historically unprecedented market downfall in 2020, and it has been vital to the ongoing efforts to provide a platform for recovery and future growth,” he added


Barkindo further commended the president for the support of the Charter of Cooperation, signed on 2 July 2019.


He noted that it had paved the way for enhanced cooperation beyond the market-balancing efforts by all countries participating in the DoC.


He said the markets continued to recognise the vital contributions that OPEC and the non-OPEC Participating Countries were making to the market’s recovery, to the global economy as a whole, and to fostering constructive dialogue.


He also acknowledged the contributions of Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, to OPEC and the DoC.


“Sylva’s shuttle diplomacy earlier this year as Special Envoy of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) to Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and South Sudan contributed to the improvement in conformity levels with the voluntary production adjustments and compensation of overproduced volumes.


“He carried out this important mission with great aplomb and garnered the respect of his fellow Ministers.


“I am confident the law marks the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity that will be beneficial to the petroleum industry and ultimately to the Nigerian people,” he said.


Stakeholders laud Buhari


Meanwhile, some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have hailed the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.


Emeritus of Petroleum Economics, Prof. Omowunmi Iledare, said the signing of the PIB 2020 into law was a laudable and noble act.


Iledare, Regional Director, Africa, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), congratulated the Executive and the ninth National Assembly for bringing the wobbling PIB journey since the early 2000s to an end.


He said: “I see in the Act, investment friendly fiscal framework with a well designed regulatory and governance institutions.


“The next phase is implementation without regulatory and institutional captures.


 “One can hope for the appointments of competent professionals with diverse work experiences as members of the implementation committee.


“Although, I have no crystal ball, but I am confident the Act stands a good chance to enhance industry value to the economy.”


Also, Mr Olatunji Akinwunmi, Chairman, SPE, Nigeria Council, said the move was a welcome development which would position the Nigeria petroleum industry favorably for the energy transition.


“We in SPE Nigeria Council believe that significant value can be unlocked to the benefit of all stakeholders in a timely manner in the industry with acceleration of exploration and development activities that would be spurred by the signing into law of the PIB,” Akinwunmi said.


On his part, Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), said it was good that the PIB had been finally signed into laws after years of delay.


Oyebanji said: “My personal thoughts, I guess it’s good that its finally signed. It is definitely a step in the right direction.


“Like all laws, it is not perfect but it is what we have for now. We will work with the authority to make implementation smooth and hopefully address areas of concern.”


Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, in a statement on Monday announced that Buhari signed the bill while still undergoing isolation having recently returned from the United Kingdom.


Adesina said the ceremonial part of the new legislation would be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled.

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