Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill when sent to President Muhammadu Buhari will receive speedy consideration.
The PIB was passed into law last week by the National Assembly nine months after it was submitted by the President to the parliament.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Nigeria Oil and Gas summit in Abuja, Osinbajo described the passage of the bill as an an unprecedented feat which has been adjudged as a watershed moment for the nation.
He assured participants at the event that when the eventual Act is fully operational, its Governance, Administrative and Fiscal provisions will be one of the most attractive in Africa.
He said, “Let me assure you that the Bill when transmitted to the Presidency for assent will receive necessary and timely consideration.
“Infrastructural development, security issues, high cost of operations and other various issues are well covered in this all encompassed Bill.
“On behalf of the Government, I can assure you that when the eventual Act is fully operational, its Governance, Administrative and Fiscal provisions will be one of the most attractive in Africa.”
The VP who was represented at the event by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, described the theme of the conference as critical and quite apt.
He said with hindsight, the government now know that the global lockdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed a transforming industry into a state of major economic crisis and further amplified the global clamour for cleaner and more sustainable renewable energy.
He added that the future survival and success of many players in the industry would not only depend on their achieving greater focus on cleaner energy source, but also upon the ability to deliver low-cost solutions.
Consequently, Osinbajo said the government is encouraging industry players to critically focus on Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources as a transition fuel that will function as a bridge between the dominant ‘dirty’ fossil fuels of today and the cleaner energy of tomorrow.
He explained further that natural gas has the intrinsic abilities to meet the increasing global requirements for cleaner primary energy use, while at the same time enabling the much needed domestic industrialization for rapid economic growth in very few endowed countries such as Nigeria.
The VP said, ” We are not unmindful of the peculiar challenges confronting the gains from oil and gas operations in Nigeria.
“From infrastructural deficiency and insecurity to high cost of operations, to mention just a few, the government is working conscientiously to tackle all without lagging behind on our path to meeting the global demands that our signatory to international protocols on cleaner energy have placed on us.
“You must have noticed that despite the current global challenges in the Industry, the government has been supporting the aggressive implementation of the nationwide gas infrastructure blueprint.
“This informed our recent declaration of year 2021-2030 as ‘the decade of gas’ after the successful kickoff with the National Gas Expansion Programme in 2020.”
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation, Mele Kyari has said that the Corporation is galvanising massive investments in the gas sector to meet the energy needs of the country and for exports.
He said with the initiatives being implemented by the Corporation under its gas masterplan, Nigerians will in the next three to four years begin to experience remarkable improvement in the country’s gas infrastructure.
The NNPC GMD said that while there has been arguments that fossil fuel will no longer be in use by 2050, such assumptions may not be realistic based on current economic realities.
He explained that as an oil company, the NNPC has started taking steps to create the right balance between fossil fuel and renewables.
He said, “If oil could provide the fulcrum for us, one thing we are also sure of is that gas is everything, no one has said correctly when deep gas will come, there are talks around 20-30 years to come which is still far away .
” It means there’s still space for us to operate in. and therefore our focus is to deepen gas monetization not really consumption. That means we will have to do both domestic and for export.”