The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is set for a robust engagement with the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of laws related to the oil and gas industry.
The new Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, made the commitment yesterday during a visit to the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, at the National Assembly.
Accompanied on the visit by his predecessor, Dr. Maikanti Baru, Kyari said the corporation would give maximum support and cooperation to the legislative arm of government to ensure the emplacement of an enabling legal framework for the growth of the oil and gas sector.
Although the 8th National Assembly broke the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into segments for easy passage, the bill never saw the light of day, as president Muhammadu Buhari withheld assent to the PIGB citing controversial clauses.
Speaking, Dr. Maikanti Baru, explained that the visit is also meant to canvass the Senate’s support for the quick passage of the Deep Offshore Amendment Bill which has the potential of boosting the Federal Government’s revenue by about $5billion per annum.
Research shows that the nation had been virtually losing revenue running into billions of dollars due to delay in the review of the extant Deep Offshore Act which stipulates that the fiscal terms could be reviewed when the price of crude oil had surpassed the $20 barrel mark and production had gone on in those acreages consistently for 15 years.
The amendment bill proposes to raise the royalty paid on deep offshore production in order to ensure a higher revenue take for government.
On the PIB he stated that having failed to achieve intended results from breaking the bill into segments for easy passage, there was the need to revert to the original intent of warehousing the various petroleum laws under one omnibus PIB, urging Kyari to work closely with the executive to re-submit the proposed law as a single bill.
In a related development, the Corporation also expressed its readiness to continuously work with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) in order to grow crude oil production, renewable energy and generate more revenue for the country.
Kyari stated this made when the Chairman of the NGF, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, led the Governor of Sokoto State and the Forum’s Deputy Chairman, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on a business visit to the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
“It is our job to deliver value for the teeming population of this country. We will ensure steady and unimpeded supply and distribution of petroleum products and we will also ensure that the NNPC remittances to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) are enhanced,” Mr Kyari assured.
He said NNPC’s operations would continue to drive the levers of production that would ensure steady generation of royalties and petroleum profit taxes into government coffers.
On transparency, Kyari assured that the financials and operations of the corporation would continue to be communicated to the NGF adding that the NNPC would continue to engage the Forum to make the operations of the oil and gas industry smooth in the country.