By Solomon Asowata
Lagos, Nov. 12, 2020 The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) on says the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly provides an opportunity for growth in the oil and gas sector.
Mr Kayode Falowe, President, NBCC, made the assertion on Thursday during a webinar organised by the Oil and Gas Group of the NBCC.
It had the theme: “Oil and Gas Downstream and Midstream Sectors: The Way Forward.”
Falowe said: “The PIB needs to be accelerated for passage into law. It provides an opportunity for growth in the oil and gas industry.
“If we get our policies and regulations right, we will be able to attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to this sector.”
According to him, the oil and gas sector, despite being the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, contributes only 10 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy had made it imperative for nations to look inwards on how they could benefit from opportunities provided by the situation.
Falowe said Nigeria, with its large population, remains a key market for oil and gas investments.
He said that enabling environment should therefore be created by the government.
Also, Mr Mahmud Tukur, former Managing Director, Eternal Plc, said the PIB, National Gas Expansion Programme, construction and rehabilitation of pipelines and refineries would be of great benefit to the country.
Tukur also praised the government for having the courage to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
He said that the move should be backed up with appropriate legislation.
On his part, Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), said apart from legislation, there needed to be a level playing field for deregulation to thrive.
Oyebanji said : “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) prices must be commercially based in order to promote fair competition.
” Forex should be made available at the same rate to all marketers, including the NNPC to have a competitive playing field.”
He also emphasised the need for self-regulation by industry players and stakeholders to promote safety, standardisation and efficiency.
Oyebanji said Nigeria should also key into the economic benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) by becoming a refining hub and net exporter of petroleum products in West Africa and other regions in the continent.