President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua has saidÂ that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will restore the confidence of investors in the nationâ€™â€™s oil and gas industry. The President made the remark on Monday in Abuja during the opening of the 27th annual international conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).
He was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Odein Ajumogobia.
The President said that when passed into law, the bill, now in the final stages at the National Assembly, would encourage the international community to continue to do business with Nigeria, particularly in the oil and gas industry. He said that the bill was meant to reposition the nationâ€™â€™s oil and gas industry to enable it compete favourably with similar sectors in the world.
Yarâ€™Adua said the public hearing on the bill would enable more Nigerians to make inputs into the bill before it was enacted. He said that the bill would also be fine-tuned by the Ministry of Petroleum after the public hearing to ensure that all its provisions would be fully understood by all Nigerians.
â€œWe have crafted a law that we believe is in the best interest of the country and we shall continue to review it in line with developments in the oil and gas industry.Â What we have done is to craft a law that can take care of the most urgent general problems we have in the oil and gas industry for now,â€™â€™â€™â€™ he said. He said the bill was a legislative instrument to drive ongoing reforms and urged the National Assembly to expedite action on it so as to facilitate the reform agenda.
â€œWe will ensure best industry practices and we are indeed determined to succeed. The restoration of peace in the Niger Delta will enable Nigeria to re-take its rightful place in oil production and restore the confidence of investors to continue to partner with us,â€™â€™ he said.
Yarâ€™Adua said that recent developments in the oil and gas were a clear indication that the country could meet its target of 40 billion barrels reserve capacity by the end of 2010. He said that the challenge was that new oil fields had to be discovered between now and December 2010.