18 March 2015, Lagos – The Federal Government Tuesday, expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, will be passed before the end of the current political dispensation which terminates by May 29.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who expressed the optimism while speaking at the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, also disclosed that the government target of four million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production may not be achieved after all, due to the current volatility in the price of crude oil in the international market.
Alison-Madueke, who was represented by Mr. Joseph Dawha, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, maintained that the Nigerian Spirit will come to play in ensuring the passage of the Bill in the few days remaining.
She said, “Everybody is excited about the passage of the PIB, unfortunately, it got stuck somewhere, but I believe it will be passed in the next few days. The Nigerian spirit will work in ensuring the Bill is passed despite the fact that we have only few days remaining. The Nigerian spirit is there any time and the spirit is very strong. At the end of the day, it will come to play. Everybody I talked to is optimistic about the passage of the Bill. Nobody is opposed to it, it is just the timing, I believe.”
She further stated that the Federal Government is committed to the passage of the Bill, adding that it wants to entrench a clear and transparent fiscal rule of general application with appropriate incentive to the investor and commensurate economic rent to the state.
“Furthermore, Nigeria’s commitment to fiscal stability in its oil and gas sector remains unflinching especially as our historical antecedents clearly demonstrates this,” she noted.
Alison-Madueke further warned that flexibility in capital expenditure and funding in general will be constrained in 2015 due to the decline in the prices of crude oil.
According to her persistent depressed oil prices may limit industry scope to manoeuvre in growing long term production and reaching the target of. 4.0 million barrels of oil per day.
She noted that all the achievements in the oil and gas industry are being threatened by current crude oil price decline, especially in the area of revenue decline.