27 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has spoken of the challenges working against easy passage of the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, in the National Assembly, saying a break up of the bill would likely help its passage.
According to him, “As long as we continue to want to pass a holistic PIB, it’s going to be a major challenge. Once you begin to break it up into critical aspects, you begin to make a faster run to passing the PIB.”
Kachikwu made the disclosure as he announced plans by the government to split the bill, which has been stuck in parliament over the past seven years, and resubmit it to lawmakers.
Delay in the passage deters investment in Africa’s largest crude producer.
Breaking up the PIB into smaller laws focused on fiscal and regulatory measures in Nigeria’s energy industry would make it easier to pass through parliament, he said. The bill, first presented in 2008, will be resent to lawmakers in the first quarter of 2016.
The proposed law has been held up largely by political wrangling and objections by international oil companies, which say the government is demanding too big an increase in its share of revenue.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC also told the Senate last week that delays in the passage of the PIB have caused uncertainty and are costing $15 billion a year in lost investments.
Kachikwu had advocated during his ministerial nominee screening by the Senate that the country should split the PIB into parts for easier passage, and to avoid further delays to reforms that have been stuck in the National Assembly for seven years.