11 August 2015, Abuja – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to halt political interference in the operations and activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as part of the ongoing reforms in the oil and gas industry.
Its President, Mr. Francis Johnson, said only this step would make the corporation efficient and enable it to compete favourably among its peers in the world, such as the Saudi Aramco of Saudi Arabia, Petronas of Malaysia and Petrobras of Brazil.
Johnson was quoted in a statement from PENGASSAN to have said that interference by political leaders was a major stumbling block to effective and efficient performance of the NNPC.
He spoke at the Addax Petroleum Branch of PENGASSAN Triennial Delegates’ Conference in Abeokuta, where Chris Ogiemwonyi was elected as the branch chairman for another three years, while John Omojefe and Gerald Agwu emerged vice chairman and secretary, respectively, among other elected executive council members, the statement added.
Johnson said that PENGASSAN’s subsisting concern about the Petroleum Industry Bill was that there was not enough transparency in the manner the past governments drove the process of the passage, stressing that if the PIB had been passed into law, the controversies surrounding the reforms of the sector would have been averted.
He said, “Some of the challenges confronting the industry would have been resolved if the PIB was passed as the provisions of the bill cover some of the issues raised by the protagonists of the reforms. Now, nobody is mentioning the bill again.
“The uncertainty of the bill is not comfortable to investors and stakeholders in the industry. The government should let us know what they intend to do about the bill and the process it will use to fast-track its passage into law.
“We are very optimistic that the 8th National Assembly will ensure transparency by making public the content of the bill and give topmost priority to its passage in view of its importance to the overall stability and growth of the oil and gas industry from which the government’s revenue for the sustenance of the economy is derived.”