The Federal Government has blamed years of neglect of the oil and gas industry by past administrations as the factor responsible for the country’s inability to reap the full benefit of the rise in the international price of crude oil.
Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, made this known in during a media briefing on Monday in Abuja.
According to him, “Major oil producing nations are smiling to the bank as oil prices are on the rise, today’’ Nigeria is not, due to the failure of the past administrations to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) .
He said “Better late than never, they say. President Muhammadu Buhari in 2021, signed into law the Petroleum Industry Bill, which is now the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
“The PIA is envisaged to foster investment in the industry and delineate responsibilities to the various institutions.
“This is a monumental achievement in the critical oil and gas sector,’’ he said
According to him, the PIA has directed the business environment within the country’s oil and gas industry adding that new companies are taking advantage of the new act to establish in the country.
He said, “Under this administration, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has implemented over 150 reforms, moving Nigeria up 39 places on the World Bank Doing Business index since 2016.
“Mr President also signed the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA 2020) – Nigeria’s most significant business legislation in three decades.
”The result of this favourable business environment is the birth of new businesses such as the 2.5 billion U.S dollars Dangote Fertiliser Plant that will produce 3 million metric tonnes of Urea every year.
“We also have the 650,000 barrels per day oil refinery due to open later this year and the Lekki Deep Sea Port, one of the most modern sea ports in West Africa,’’ he said.
Mohammed added that the conducive business environment created was responsible for the BUA’s 3 million metric tonnes cement plant; and the 5,000 barrels per day Modular Refinery in Ibigwe, in Imo.
He disclosed that three more modular refineries would be commissioned before May 2023 in Edo and Bayelsa.