15 May 2013, Houston – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says the introduction of the Petroleum Host Community Fund as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, will help to arrest the incidence of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
Group Managing Director, GMD, of the corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, made the assertion, in Houston, Texas, United States at a seminar organised by the Petroleum Exploration Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN.
Yakubu spoke on “Post PIB Challenges, Prospect and Opportunities” at the seminar, which held during the recent Offshore Technology Conference.
According to him, “the proposed fund “is a mechanism to formally recognise host communities as important stakeholders by assigning oil and gas infrastructure security to the host communities and minimising environmental degradation due to vandalism and crude oil theft”.
“It also includes modalities for using regulations to increase flexibility in managing host community issues,’ Yakubu said, adding referring to the PIB as an essential tool for the sustainable development of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The NNPC boss, who said the proposed law presented multi-dimensional approach to the nation’s oil and gas resource management, maintained that it will bring about increased active contribution by players and stakeholders under prudent government structure.
He further said: “It also stipulates guidelines for operations in the upstream and downstream sectors that can be viewed in terms of the following thematicareas: policy, legal and regulatory dimensions, economic dimensions including participation and ownership, knowledge based human and institutional capabilities, environmental stewardship as well as governance structure for sustainable resource development.”
Also speaking at the event, Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, emphasized the readiness of the Senate to work with the executive to ensure smooth passage of the bill.
“I cannot commit to any particular date but I know that this PIB must be passed,” he said.
Also speaking, House Minority Whip and Chairman House Committee on PIB, Hon. Samson Osagie reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to ensure that the bill is passed into law as soon as possible.
“The position of the National Assembly on the petroleum industry bill is that we are passionate about passing this bill into law because it consolidates about 16 legislation in the sector and for the first time the Nigerian Government is coming out to say that this industry needs to be re-organised and reformed so that the eventual benefit will get to the government and people of Nigeria,” he said.
According to Osagie, the National Assembly was determined to strike the delicate balance that would not comprise the interest of the nation or chase away potential investors.
But, he debunked claims by some international oil companies that the proposed fiscal regime in the PIB is one of the toughest in the global oil and gas industry.
“I don’t think that in all its entirety the fiscal regime as contemplated by the PIB remain the harshest in the industry worldwide but I believe that there are some sections that we may need to look out especially in the area of gas exploration. We may need to work had to ensure that we attract the right investment,” Osagie said.