A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Buhari considers withdrawal/review of PIB

President Mohammadu Buhari
President Mohammadu Buhari

*As govt commits to more effective role in OPEC

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

05 June 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has hinted that it may withdraw the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, for possible review to remove controversial aspects before presenting to the next National Assembly to be passed into law.

The PIB, currently in its eight year awaiting passage, takes the record as the most maligned bill to pass through Nigeria’s legislature, as yet another National Assembly expired without getting it passed.

Meanwhile, the new administration has pledged its commitment to playing a more proactive and effective role in the affairs of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.

A statement signed by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Ohi noted that while speaking in Vienna, Austria at the ongoing OPEC International Seminar, Head of Nigeria’s Delegation to the 167th OPEC Meeting Dr. Jamila Shu’ara pointed out that Nigeria under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari, a one-time Minister of Petroleum Resources and Head of Nigeria’s Delegation to the OPEC Conference, will continue to work for the realization of the aims and objectives of the organization.

“I am here to covey to all Heads of Delegation of OPEC Member Countries, and indeed representatives of other countries, President Muhammadu Buhari’s gratitude, that of the Government and the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Member Countries of our Organization, and indeed the international community, for the keen interest shown and, in some cases, the support given to Nigeria towards the implementation of what has become a very successful political transition programme,’’ Dr. Shu’ara said.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill which is facing all but certain death with the expiration of the current National Assembly, Dr. Shu’ara noted that although the Bill is still in the National Assembly, the Buhari Administration will take a critical look at it with a view to effecting necessary changes that will facilitate its early passage.

“I would like to assure industry players that the new government will work assiduously to ensure the speedy passage of the Bill and even speedier implementation of the related programmes,” she stated.

She further noted that the Buhari Administration is committed to prosecuting the amnesty programme in Nigeria’s Niger-Delta with vigour with a view to bringing about lasting peace and stability in the area as well as in other parts of Nigeria; thus making the operational environment safe and attractive once again.

“Nigeria is committed to tackling corruption especially in the extractive industry and will strive to bring back transparency and accountability in public life especially in the petroleum industry which is the mainstay of national economy.”

Shu’ara said government shall strive to diversify the economy and put in place essential infrastructure that will aid its growth.

“We are committed to investing in the whole petroleum value chain, in order to add more value to our national economy from our natural resources and reduce our over dependence on exported crude oil revenue,’’ she stated.

“I am to assure OPEC Heads of Delegation, of a new dawn in Nigeria and the capacities of a new President who understands and appreciates the prospects and challenges of our Organization like no other former Nigerian Head of State, having being a Minister of Petroleum Resources before,’’ Dr. Shu’ara concluded.

Dr. Shu’ara’s remark was followed by an incisive presentation to the 6th OPEC International Seminar by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Joseph T. Dawha under the theme: Technology and the Environment.

In his presentation, Dr. Dawha opined that despite the odds, Crude oil will continue to play an important role in the future world energy balance for decades to come noting that improved use of technology in the oil and gas sector will continue to resolve difficult challenges regarding oil supply in the world energy market and thus achieve a more efficient use of existing oil resources, discover new oil reservoirs, with greater accuracy and also lead to more efficient oil extraction from existing fields.

“New technology and climate change would most likely once again dramatically change the landscape of future oil supply by rapidly increasing supply sources and applying significantly downward pressure on oil prices. Additionally, with traditional oil importing nations becoming more self-sufficient, the struggle for available markets is likely to become even fiercer,’’ the GMD said.

Dr. Dawha called on the global oil industry to always seek to strike that delicate balance between adaptation of technology to increase production and the need to protect the environment, noting: “Environmental protection and sustainable development continue to be of great importance, we should also aim to adopt environmental policies that guarantee sustainable production as we seek to secure future diminishing oil markets.’’

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