During the celebration of Nigeria’s 59th Independence Day on Tuesday, H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari said the country would soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has been contested and amended in Nigerian parliament for close to two decades.
This news follows Senate President Ahmad Lawan’s announcement last week that the PIB would be passed before the end of 2020.
“Our petroleum industry is almost stagnant; it has long needed profound reform. Our oil and gas-related committees are therefore expected to work hard to take the lead in our determination to reform this vital sector,” said Lawan.
President Buhari said the amendment of the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act would also be passed into law in efforts to ensure that the government receives a “fair share of oil revenues while encouraging private sector investment.”
Once passed into law, the PIB will transform and support the growth of the country’s petroleum sector, ensuring efficiency and transparency while also providing a strong legal regulatory framework for the petroleum industry.
In transforming the sector, the Senate President noted the importance of developing competitive human capital and supporting legislations.
“We need to also focus on human capital development. It is inevitable that we have to improve government investments in education and health, if we want to create the critical mass of work force for the knowledge-based economy of present times,” he said.
On the country’s power sector – which is central to Nigeria’s growth plans, President Buhari shared his administration’s determination to improve the country’s power supply, acknowledging the role the sector plays in economic development.
“We are resolute in reforming the power sector. In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from five Gigawatts to seven Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards,” he said, adding that the improvements to the power sector form part of other infrastructure investment projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.