By Michael Eboh
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has expressed discomfort with Nigeria’s legislations affecting the oil and gas industry.
Sylva explained that clarity in the drafting of the laws would eliminate the many disagreements and lawsuits currently witnessed in the industry and save the country from huge judgement debts, such as the Process and Industrial Development, P&ID, issue.
Speaking in Abuja, at a workshop organized by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, for counsels of the Federal Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Sylva also highlighted the need to build the capacity of judicial workers in the workings of the oil and gas industry.
Sylva, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Moses Olamide, noted that over the years, the Nigerian petroleum industry had operated with laws that were not in tandem with global standards, and had brought to the fore the need for a review of the legal issues of the industry.
He stated: “The exploration, production and contracting processes are complex and rapidly changing. The need for state counsels to be up to date with current happenings of the industry cannot be over-emphasised.
“For many years, the Nigerian oil and gas industry have been operating in an agglomeration of legislations and guidelines, which sometimes are not in harmony with the industry trends practiced globally. The oil and gas industry had developed focusing on increasing indigenous participation.
“Our best bets for the industry, it is better we write our laws very clearly. It is better we do all the negotiations possible; it is better we do all the reconciliation and conciliation that are possible; before we sign off on our laws. It is going to reduce a lot of acrimony.
It is going to reduce a lot of fighting in the industry. Hence we appeal to the lawyers in this regard. ‘It is better we write our legal matters very clearly so as to eliminate all the acrimony that might arise in the legal system.”