By Nnenna Ezeah
The former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, has said the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), when eventually passed into a law, will serve as the catalyst that the country’s oil and gas industry needs to revolutionise the sector.
Speaking at the ESQ Oil & Gas Summit 2012, held in Lagos recently, Ajumogobia said, “The PIB is an ambitious attempt to revolutionise the Oil and Gas industry with just one legislation.
“The PIB when it is passed will provide guarantee for potential investors who want to invest their money in the sector.”
“Now people are conscious about investing because they feel there is no legislation that offers protection for them adding that continued non-passage of the bill has not allowed potential investors, both local and foreign, to make very huge financial commitments in the sector,” he said.
Ajumogobia said the PIB is proposed as a transformative piece of legislation that aims to consolidate 16 different Nigerian petroleum laws into a single document establishing a new legal and regulatory framework, as well as new institutions and regulatory authorities.
Delivering a paper earlier on, “Structuring Oil & Gas Projects for International Financing”, Mr. Jason Kerr, Partner, White & Case, UK, said although the country possessed what it takes to attract offshore financing for various projects in the Oil and Gas industry, but it needed to put in place certain structures.
According to Kerr, these include strong legal framework, thriving domestic banking sector, and compelling need for investment in infrastructure, political reforms, functional refineries and petrochemical plants, among others.
Other areas deliberated on at the well-attended submit include: gas revolution, Third World countries in the global oil sector, local content development and financing projects in the industry.