08 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — A former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC boss has stated reasons the Petroleum Governance Industry Bill, PGIB may not achieve total success in Nigeria.
According to the boss who begged for anonymity, passing the bill into law may not be the end to a backlog of problems in the sector.
He argued that there have been other existing laws in the country meant for regulating activities in the sector yet, those laws have not been put to meaningful use.
“So what’s the assurance the PGIB will work when it is the same set of people who have been there that are still there,” he said.
“Those same bad eggs won’t allow the bill to be effective, although it may solve some of the challenges,” he added.
He said, restructuring the NNPC will not also solve the challenges in the sector.
According to him, restructuring the state-owned company will not work “because it is the same bad managers who are responsible for the corruption in the company that is still being recycled”.
When asked what solutions could reposition NNPC and the oil and gas sector on the path of change he said, “putting tough sanctions in place” is the only solution.
Recently, there have been arguments for and against passaging the PGIB into law.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said passage of the Petroleum Governance Industry Bill, PGIB, will promote cost recovery in the oil and gas sector.
According to him, the bill will give the ability for both the Nigerian Petroleum Company (NPC) and the Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company (NPAMC) as the commercial arms, to recover their cost of operation before crediting the federation account.
In support of the bill, Total Nigeria Limited’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Nicolas Terraz also said at the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) conference in August, that the non passage of the bill has resulted in loss of investments as investors who dread uncertainty, had diverted their funds to more friendly climes.
However, the Managing Director, Integrated Data Service Limited (IDSL)-Upstream, NNPC, Ronald Ewubare, openly said during the Nigerian Annual International Conference and Exhibition 2017 organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), that the bill may not be the solution to the challenges in the power sector.
“If laws were the solution, with all the laws Nigeria already has, we shouldn’t still be facing all these challenges today. So all the existing laws are enough to address what the PGIB wants to address” he said.
“Although my official answer as to whether PGIB will address all the challenges is, yes it will, and that is what any government official will tell you. However, speaking as Ronald Iwubare, PGIB is not the magic bullet,” he added.
According to him, PGIB will be meaningless as long as politicians keep meddling in the affairs of the sector.
“PGIB may change nothing because the constant interference from Nigerian politicians will not make the Bill work,” he said.