27 August 2015, Abuja – The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the fall in global crude oil prices calls for a review of the Petroleum Industry Bill in order to iron out all the grey areas in the bill.
The NNPC boss also stated that prior to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the major problem of the corporation was the lack of political will by the government to implement the outcome of researches and reports that had been done.
Kachikwu, who chaired a special session at the ongoing 55th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja titled, ‘Legal and Regulatory Framework of the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria: Review of existing laws and the PIB,’ described the PIB as an essential legislation that must be approached with all the seriousness and thoroughness it deserves.
The GMD, in a statement from the corporation, was quoted as saying, “PIB is a serious affair, it is an essential piece of legislation, but as we all know a lot of engagement is required to address all the issues because the oil and gas environment has changed. There are issues of cost, with oil going down to $40 per barrel, the PIB cannot be the same.”
The NNPC GMD explained that because of the volume of extensive consultation and time required to make the bill a workable document, it was only natural to kick-start the reforms in the industry with the existing laws while waiting for the eventual passage of the proposed law.
He said, “The reform of the petroleum industry is key and it is an area where we are going to put a lot of focus. Transparency is key. Restructuring is key. Sometimes, people don’t realise that the problem hasn’t been the NNPC; it is a problem of political will to go forward and implement the outcome of researches and reports that had been done. But fortunately for us, this time around, that is what the President has brought to the table. He has strong political will to see this through.”
Commenting on what the Federal Government intends to do with the draft legislation, Kachikwu stated that PIB had come to stay, though it would take some time to perfect the draft.