*Bill not magic wand for petroleum industry – Chairman SPE
*Light on the other side of the tunnel – Chairman PETAN
By Ediri Ejoh
MORE reactions continue to trail the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, as stakeholders refer to the bill as a right direction to recover the industry’s past glory.
Recall that the Senate had last Thursday, approved the passage of the PIGB, which had created much debate and tension across the industry, oil producing communities and the nation at large while resonating at the National Assembly.
Reacting to the passage of the PIGB, the Council Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineer (SPE) Nigeria, Mr. Saka Matemilola, said the passage of the PIGB is a step in the right direction.
He stated: “The industry is also eagerly awaiting the passage of the fiscal policy bill. That is what will ultimately quell the lingering uncertainty that has negatively affected the decision on new investments by most of the major IOCs (International Oil Companies).”
But he argued that the PIGB is by no means, a magic wand that will solve the many problems facing the petroleum industry, adding that it would be unrealistic to expect the bill as passed, to satisfy all stakeholders.
Nevertheless, he stated: “However, starting with passage of the governance bill was a good decision and hopefully, the momentum will be sustained to ensure the other bills are similarly passed quite soon.
“Beyond passage of the PIGB, it is important that the proposed restructuring is carried out in the true spirit of the bill, ensuring that personal interests are not allowed to determine or derail the implementation. This is the only way that the country can derive the desired benefits.”
For Chairman, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN, Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, PIGB is an Act to provide for the governance and institutional framework for the petroleum industry and for other related matters.
His words: “The bill shows that for once there is light on the other side of the tunnel. This PIBG bill is an Act to provide for the governance and institutional framework for the petroleum industry and for other related matters.
“We need the governance bill to set up the framework for the following as stated in the governance bill document – Create efficient and effective governing institutions with clear and separate roles, establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven entities, promote transparency and accountability and finally foster a conducive business environment.”
Also commenting on the bill, former Chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN, Engr. Emeka Ene, said, “Passing the PIB is very welcome news for the industry primarily because, it aligns policy and regulations and updates the legislation to reflect the realities of the oil business in the 21st century.
“The impact of the PIB will depend on what exactly was passed. The fiscal aspects will drive new projects, particularly in deepwater. The structural aspects will improve efficiency.”