ABUJA â€” The International Monetary Fund has described the Petroleum Industry Bill as a professional legislation that is capable of transforming the Nigeria economy for the better.
Speaking during a fact-finding visit to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to understand the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly and the rationale behind it, the leader of the IMF delegation and the Adviser Fiscal Affairs Department, Mr. Charles McPherson said the bill was professional and was properly done.
Mr. McPherson expressed the readiness of the fund to continue to partner with the country in the area of legislation and technical expertise, saying this would lead to a fruitful relationship.
â€œIt is a very exciting project particularly the economic model and the legal issues. It is very exciting to see the professional and thorough work that you have done and we also look forward to your visit to Washington,â€ he said.
He maintained that through constant dialogue, a lot could still be achieved and assured of the support of the fund to the country.
Earlier, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, said the fiscal aspect of the PIB was geared towards reducing government expenses in order to have enough money to channel into the development of the health sector, education and improvement of infrastructure for the 150 million Nigerians.
Dr. Lukman expressed optimism that as the seventh highest oil producer in the world, the PIB, when passed, would help in transforming the NNPC into a national oil company that would be commercially oriented.
â€œThe PIB is capable of giving us our rightful place in the oil and gas industry in the world. The truth of the matter is that from what we know, we could rise much higher than that level,â€ he said.
He opined that the bill would create an enabling environment that would help the country achieve its full capacity and make it into the league of the 20 most developed countries in the world.