PIA: Buhari lauds implementation, tasks regulators to offer their best

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged regulators in the petroleum industry to do what is best for Nigeria, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, said Tuesday.

The minister stated this in an interview with State House correspondents, saying that the president also expressed satisfaction with the level of implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

”The president is happy with the level of implementation of the PIA. A lot is going on. Already, the agencies created by the law are now in place.

“The president charged us to ensure that we use our best experience to ensure that the industry is on track. Luckily for us, we have very experienced people on the saddle, both in the authority and the commission and the president asked us to go ahead and do what is best in the interest of Nigeria at all times,” he said.

On the recent increase in the price of cooking gas in the country, the minister said the president is worried over the situation like all Nigerians.

He said although the price of the commodity is not regulated by Nigeria, some steps would be taken internally, to provide some relief, ahead of the yuletide season.

“We must understand that cooking gas is not subsidised. It is already a deregulated commodity, so the price is not determined by government or anybody here in Nigeria. In fact, gas prices are determined internationally.

“The price of gas internationally now affects also the price of gas in our country. But there are some issues around Value Added tax (VAT) charges and other taxes on imported gas, which we are handling, but of course, while handling taxes on imported gas, you must juxtapose it side by side with the local producers of gas and if you incentivise the importance too much, you will also kill the local industry and also you don’t want to incentivise the local industry at the expense of the import because if u do that, you will not have enough gas produced within the country.

“So these are the issues of balancing that the midstream and downstream regulatory authorities are handling, but I want to assure you that we are quite concerned and the president also is very concerned. He is aware that the price of gas is high in the market and we are doing everything to see how we can bring down the price of gas, especially as the yuletide approaches,” he said.