For Manufacturers and the economy to benefit from the multi-billion dollar investments expected after the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), must have Nigerians should prepare themselves by embracing the development of the Nigerian Content policy, the Chief Executive Officer of New Planet Project (NPP), Mr. Bunmi Tunji- Ojo said.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Sun, recently in Abuja, Mr. Tunji-Ojo, said there was an urgent need to expand discussions around the proposed legislation beyond the fiscal terms. Warning that failure to sufficiently domicile the service and manufacturing ends of industry operations, he said investments that would flow into the country may be diverted abroad through overseas procurement of equipment used for operations and remuneration of expatriate personnel that would be deployed to work on the projects.
“It is expected that when PIB is passed, it would result in massive investment flows, and those investments will yield revenue for Nigeria. But what we are looking for is a kind of impact that can give us employment on top of the revenue scale,” he said.
“That type of impact would only come from the investments that result in domiciliation. It is a good thing we have had a three-year head-start in the implementation of the Local Content Act, which has enabled us create some capacities in Nigeria such that as the PIB is being passed and investments are coming, we would then have jobs arising from the investments being executed locally.”
The NPP boss also canvassed industry support for the board’s initiatives, especially the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrial Park Scheme and the establishment of a new pipe mill to support the existing SCC Mill in Abuja, pointing out that when the initiatives are successful, Nigerians would reap immense benefits from the PIB, as more industry activities would be domiciled.
He underlined the importance of getting the investments in-country, pointing out that though the country needs to increase its revenue intake from oil production, the real endgame for it is to ensure that when it is getting revenues, there are Nigerians to work.
“Government agencies can only employ a few thousands, but the real employment can come from commercial activities that would arise from our preparedness to expand operations,” he said.
He said when the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed into law, the law would create profit-driven oil entities, encourage investment in the nation’s petroleum industry and greatly increase government’s revenue.
“Government revenue from oil industry will increase. This means more funds in the hands of government to engage in developmental activities.
“The downstream sector will become fully deregulated. In other words, subsidy will be totally removed,” he said.
He also said the bill would bring about full deregulated and liberalized downstream petroleum sector, create efficient and effective regulatory agencies and promote the development of Nigerian local content in the oil industry.
Besides, he said that the emphasis on local content would not only be in the area of skills, but would also be applicable to materials sourcing for manufacturers.