Port Harcourt — A call has been made to the Federal Government to streamlined regulatory environment in the oil and gas sector, in order to attract more investment and make the sector globally competitive.
Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, made the call at the ongoing Practical Nigerian Content Conference and Exhibitions organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The stakeholders speaking during a panel discussion on the topic, ‘Facilitating a commercially viable business environment through inter agency collaboration,’ noted that a one-stop shop model for regulatory agencies was desirable.
Speaking for the Oil Producers Trade Section of Lagos Chamber of Commerce, the Managing Director of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company, AEEPCo, Victor Okoronkwo, said the group was yearning for improvement on Nigeria’s ease of doing business.
Okoronkwo explained that multiple taxes and overlapping responsibilities by government agencies were affecting the profit margins of oil firms, a development that discouraged the inflow of investment capital.
He assured that OPTS remains open to dialogue with government to make the Nigerian oil and gas sector competitive to attract more investment.
Responding, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, said the board had taken steps to reduce bureaucracy that prolonged the contracting cycle in the oil and gas sector.
Wabote explained that NCDMB has simplified most of its approval processes, by automating them to ensure seamless and swift issuance of regulatory clearance to operators.
He added that the board recently automated the approval processes for approval of expatriate quotas to guide the Ministry of Interior for the issuance of expatiate quota.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Nigerian Content, says the legislature was planning to extend the Nigerian Content Law to other sectors of the economy, following the success recorded by NCDMB.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Nigerian Content, Sen. Teslim Folarin, disclosed that the sectors to be covered by the new law include power, ICT, construction , telecommunications, amongst other sectors.
He also said that plans are underway by the Senate to amend the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act 2010 in order to make modifications that would make the new legislation to apply to other sectors.