By Akpobor Jirue, Abuja
The passage by the National Assembly and the subsequent signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and the subsequently, Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), by President Muhammadu Buhari has been described as the beginning of a new era in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Saidu, stated this in a statement made available to the media in Abuja on Sunday.
The PPPRA boss who congratulated President Buhari, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and the 9th National Assembly for the effort towards actualising law said the development was historic.
The statement reads in part, “The PIA which provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities and related matters, marks the beginning of a new era in the growth and development of the entire oil and gas industry. Delivering on the promise to create an environment with a transparent, clear and robust legal and regulatory regime is sure to open up new vistas in the oil and gas industry, and the Nigerian economy.”
He noted that the implementation of the PIA will foster greater investment to the sector. Adding that it will also lead to transparency and efficient resource management, provide a more consistent standard of operations and ensure less cumbersome regulatory control of the industry, among other gains.
“The PPPRA especially commends the Federal Government for taking the bold step at resolving longstanding hitches such as the issue of overlapping functions in the regulation of the sector. The establishment of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) as well as the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) clearly delineates the roles of industry operators and regulators.
“There is no gainsaying that the PIA signals the implementation of full deregulation of the downstream sector. However, it remains worthy of note that the PIA does not automatically translate to any immediate increase in the price of PMS. The current price will remain until negotiations with organised labour, which will develop a feasible framework that minimizes the impact of a market-based pricing policy on the masses is concluded,” he said.