By Juliet Ukanwosu
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said the Petroleum Industry Law has ended decades of uncertainty concerning the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
NEITI’s Executive Secretary Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji described as a historic development, the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Petroleum Industry Law, saying it will open a new phase of wider opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
“For us in NEITI, President Buhari has broken new grounds, created new business horizon built on healthy legal frameworks that will push the boundaries of reforms in the sector with realistic optimism for inflow of investments, revenue growth and job opportunities,” Orji said.
He applauded the significance of the Presidential assent to the Bill adding that NEITI looks forward to playing active roles in designing a new future for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry under the new Petroleum Industry Act.
Orji stated that “The signing into Law of the PIB has demonstrated government’s resolve to strengthen governance processes and systems especially in the extractive industry through an institutional and legal framework. NEITI is encouraged by the development.”
He expressed delight that the the Petroleum Industry Law will provide the dynamic legal governance framework required to re-position Nigeria’s petroleum industry to fully embrace competition, openness, accountability, professionalism and better profit returns on investments to both companies and government.
Dr. Orji further called on companies, government agencies and civil society involved in the oil and gas sector governance to give this Law a chance to succeed. He added that NEITI as an agency with legitimate interest in the Law will carefully study the contents of the new Law and work closely with national and global partners especially the EITI to use the Law to open the Nigeria oil and gas sector for transparency, accountability and inflow of foreign direct investments into Nigeria.
“NEITI is hopeful that with the new Petroleum Industry Law in place, the huge revenue losses which Nigeria has witnessed over these years as a result of process lapses and weaknesses in previous Laws governing operations in the sector will be strictly checked, while restoring investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector,” Orji said.