08 March 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Nigerian House of Representatives said on Wednesday it was yet to receive the much-planned Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) from the executive arm of government, accusing the Petroleum Ministry of not being serious on the matter.
Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, disclosed this while reciving Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Mr Babs Omotowa and a team from the company on behalf of the Speaker of the House, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal at the National Assembly in Abuja.
He said: “The Ministry (of Petroleum Resources) appears not interested in the Petroleum Industry Bill. Up till now, there is no PIB before us. Even the committees set up by the president on the petroleum sector have not been interfacing with the House of Representatives.”
He said the House, in preparation to receiving the Bill, had since deliberately excused all the committees involved in the oil and gas sector from the recent probe of the subsidy regime to enable them face the proposed PIB when it eventually arrives.
According to him, the committees on Petroleum (up-stream and downstream) as well as other petroleum-related committees have since been idle waiting for the arrival of the PIB.
Ihedioha lamented the inadequate utilisation of resources from the nation’s vast oil resources: “We must admit that as a country, the discovery of petroleum has been as much a curse as a blessing to our people.
“Part of the reason is that we have not been able to utilise the massive revenue generated by oil to lift the standards of living of the majority of Nigerians. Over the years, our problem has been with the way we manage our wealth rather than with any limitation of resources.”
Lamenting also the decline in Nigeria’s share of the global liquefied natural gas business, he said: “By 2008, we had 10 per cent of the international market and now we have about eight per cent. I learnt that if we don’t do something quickly, this will further shrink to less than five percent in the next few years. This is bad news.”
He also maintaned that Nigeria has been losing about $10 billion in direct revenue and other related earnings every year.
In his response, managing director of NLNG, Mr Babs Omotowa, stated that he and his team were committed to make the company grow.