Energy experts have said there is urgent need for President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the recently passed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) to prevent continued loss of $15bn investment yearly.
Speaking in Abuja, Saturday, on the annual conference of Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), slated for tomorrow, the association’s President, Prof Wumi Iledare and his predecessor, Prof Adeola Adenikinju, declared that so much intellectual debate went into the making of the bill, which was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives. They maintained that signing the bill into law would rekindle investors’ confidence in the oil and gas sector.
Iledare said: “The earlier the President signs the bill into law, the better for the country. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said Nigeria loses about $15bn new investment funds to non-passage of the law.
“A lot of debate went into the making of the bill and the President should sign the law to demonstrate that what has not been done in about 20 years, he has done it.
“We started the journey in 2000 with the Oil and Gas sector Implementation Committee (OGIC) and had to wait till 2008, when the first draft bill was sent to the National Assembly. So, it took us about 10 years to pass the bill. It is an opportunity we should not allow to elude us, having come this far.”
The NAEE Chief, who is also the Director, Emerald Energy Institute, University of Port Harcourt, explained that Nigeria must revive the Energy advisory council that will advise the President on Energy matters saying, “most people we have in the corridors of power, today, that are parading themselves as energy experts are not. The President needs to have quality advice from real experts.”
On his part, Prof Adeola Adenikinju, who is a member of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee, said Buhari should sign the PIGB bill without hesitation to save the oil and gas sector from hemorrhaging.