By Uche Usim, Abuja
Stakeholders in the oil and gas industry Thursday, said the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly after almost two decades was a welcome development.
The stakeholders including, Mr Muda Yusuf, outgoing Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in separate interviews in Lagos, noted that the passage of the bill was being watched with caution pending the full exposition of its contents to the general public. The bill, which has five parts, eight schedules and 319 clauses was passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday.
The legislation is aimed at “promoting transparency, good governance and accountability in the oil and gas sector.” Yusuf said the LCCI was pleased with the passage of the bill in the understanding that many concerns raised by stakeholders have been addressed by the lawmakers in the final draft.
He said: “I think the passage of the PIB is a very good development. It is a major instrument of reforms in the petroleum sector and it has quite a number of significant implications.
“First “We are likely to see more investments because investors confidence is likely to grow with this new policy environment. It will also increase the quality job creation as investments in the sector grows.
For his part, Oyebanji said the passage of the PIB after several years of delay was a welcome news.
“But I don’t know what has been passed finally. I hope it is something that will move the industry, both upstream, downstream and host communities forward.
Similarly, Okoronkwo said IPMAN would only respond to the passage of the bill when all the facts are made available
Meanwhile, as crude oil prices gain traction in the international market, the Technical Committee (JTC) of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries is reviewing latest market developments to articulate a future action.
This is contained in the statement it issued from Vienna in Austria on Thursday.
In his remarks, the OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, acknowledged the role carried out by the JTC in providing high-quality technical analyses of the latest oil market developments.