The Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) as passed would reposition the oil and gas industry and encourage more inflows into the economy, the senator representing Cross River South in the Senate, Gershom Bassey, has said
Senator Bassey, who spoke at the weekend during a chat with reporters in Calabar, said although the PIB may not be perfect, the passage was a major milestone for Nigeria.
“As it comes into use, there will be amendments here and there . So it’s a living document. The PIB as passed encourages more inflows into the country through the oil & gas sector.
“These types of inflows and production are things that will benefit us in the south because for the past 15 years, there has been minimal investment in the oil and gas industry.
“There has only been one bid round and the bid round was not successful, and we have had bid rounds in the marginal fields, which has not been realizable and these are all directly attributable to an unpredictable oil and gas environment.
“What the PIB does is to bring predictability to the oil and gas environment and with predictability comes investments. So ultimately, it may not be a perfect bill, and I don’t think it’s a perfect bill but it is a bill that we can work with to ensure that there’s investments in the oil and gas industry,” he stated.
He explained that “in some countries, you see huge amounts like $100 billion, $200 billion worth of investments coming in to that country just by signing off on a PIB bill. I’m sure we can have huge investments in the country as a result of the predictability we have brought to the oil and gas industry.”
The Senator also advocated an all inclusive national planning before budgeting, lamenting that all critical sectors had not been involved before budgets are made.
“Some of us have been advocating for a strong role for all inclusive national planning before budgeting, and it is hoped that in subsequent budgets, issue of an all inclusive planning will be taken care of.
“In most newly industrialised countries, the ministry of national planning is the most important portfolio. So with full collaboration of the legislature playing its constitutional role, I think if this kind of prominence is given to national planning then all ur questions will be answered,” he said.