20 February 2013, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Government has assured that reform plans for the Nigerian oil and gas sector remained on course and that the beleaguered Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, will soon passed into law, despite the myriads of intrigues that have engulfed the piece of legislation.
Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said talks were on going with all stakeholders as well as lawmakers on the need to produce a Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, that would be acceptable to all.
This is the umpteenth time the minister will be giving this assurance without any corresponding action in the national assembly to corroborate her position.
“The PIB represents a major step to consolidate and transform our oil industry. I want to reassure all stakeholders lawmakers are working on the bill and will soon be passed into law,” Alison-Madueke said.
“There are so many issues that will have to be put in place,” the minister said.
“Discussions on the PIB are very slow,” the Country chair of Shell companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu told the delegates at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas internastional confderence and exhibition.
He said Nigeria is competing with emerging oil and gas producing countries in Africa including its neighbors Ghana and Niger Republic, for a “finite amount of investment” by oil majors in the short and medium term.
“Nigeria cannot afford to miss out. Nigeria is a challenging business environment, costs are at high end of the global scale, contracting and licensing can be long and tortuous process,” Sunmonu said.
“A balance PIB is required, one that will provide optimal revenue to the government whilst providing sufficient incentives for new investment to fuel growth,” the Shell boss added.