The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is optimistic that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB currently before the National Assembly for legislative action will boost domestic refining in the country. Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, stated this in Abuja while delivering an address at the Annual Upstream and Downstream Oil and Gas Conference.
The GMD who was represented at the event by Mr. Victor Briggs, Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, said the draft reform law will not only sanitise the downstream sector but will serve as the one-stop shop guide for operations in the entire petroleum industry.
“This can only be attained in an environment where clear ground rules are set and oligopolistic market distortions are removed. For effective and competitive domestic petroleum products market to be developed in Nigeria, the PIB proposes deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. This will encourage investment in refining and marketing infrastructure,” Yakubu said.
While acknowledging the fact that the downstream petroleum sector faces enormous challenges which have over time hampered third party investments in new refineries, the GMD noted that the coming of the PIB will engender a regime where petroleum products will be delivered at cost reflective prices.
Yakubu’s presentation which was titled: “The Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill and Investment Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry” also dwelt on the far-reaching industry reforms proposed in the bill ranging from the new fiscal incentives, natural gas development and creation of new regulatory agencies.
Lending support to the PIB, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, Chairman Senate Committee on Gas called on her colleagues at the National Assembly to rally round the executive to ensure speedy passage of the bill. The three day conference was declared open by Dr. Jemila Shu’ara, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary Government of the Federation.
Information from National Mirror was used in this report.