By Ediri Ejoh
The Organised Private Sector, OPS, has called on the federal government to take a more realistic path in the ongoing efforts to restructure the country’s oil and gas industry.
In a statement by Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, the group regretted failure of the 7th National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, even when additional efforts were made to pass the 2012 version of the Bill as well as similar failed attempts at prior parliamentary sessions.
“We have observed over the past 10 years the inability of Nigeria to drive reform in the oil and gas industry that will position our country as the preferred destination for investment in that sector of the economy.
“One of the reasons for this development is, of course, the failure of successive governments to articulate the appropriate legal framework that will underpin this reform. At some point in time, all efforts at achieving that descended into confusion as we had countless number of versions of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly, with no one in particular in the know of which version of the bills the National Assembly was deliberating on”, he observed.
He noted that it was a refreshing relief when this dispensation of the National Assembly came up with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which is the only bill before the National Assembly to jump-start the long needed reform in the Oil and Gas Sector.
The group therefore commended the National Assembly for bringing sanity to an otherwise confused of reform initiative.
While it commended certain aspects of the Bill, it however, disagreed with the proposed establishment of a single regulator in the industry.
“We do not share the views of the National Assembly on creation of a behemoth regulator for a sector that is not necessarily homogenous in its activities and deliverables” they noted.