By Emeka Nze
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari has assured that the nation’s long-delayed oil and gas industry reform bill, known as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed by the National Assembly. He gave this indication on Monday during a webinar where he expressed confidence of its passage.
“This process has been ongoing since 1999 and I’m very positive that this will be brought to closure very soon,” Kyari said. “I’m optimistic that through policy engagement and collaboration between the executive, legislature and stakeholders, this law will be passed.”
The Petroleum Industry Bill, legislation that has been two decades in the making, seeks to overhaul the laws that govern Nigeria’s oil industry, reforming how it’s operated and funded. The legal framework hasn’t kept up with the country’s needs, Mele Kyari, added.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, is trying to end a decade of regulatory uncertainty that Kyari said on Sept. 22 is hurting the industry’s growth. Previous reform efforts were unsuccessful, hindered either by political or economic disagreements involving the government, lawmakers and oil companies. Passing the bill, which was sent to parliament last month, is a key test for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, following his re-election last year.
“As an insider in this process, there is complete alignment between the legislature and executive, and other stakeholders who are relevant to this process, so that ultimately we can put this reform on the table,” Kyari said.