The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream and senator representing Akwa Ibom North East, Senator Bassey Albert has reiterated that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) remains a viable legal mechanism for optimization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Senator Albert, who stated this in a lecture entitled “Oil, Gas, and Politics: Unbundling the Conundrum for National Development” at the 1st Alumni Lecture of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Uyo, Monday December 13, 2021, offered an insightful prospect on what Nigeria and its oil communities stand to benefit from the PIA.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his tremendous commitment towards developing the oil and gas sector by signing the bill into law, Senator Albert stated, “The PIA is a strategic tool for Nigeria to attract investments that have eluded the country in the past decades and reposition us as a major investment destination in the global oil and gas market.
“The communities hosting oil and gas exploration activities, or the likes will directly be entitled to 3 per cent of the respective companies’ preceding year’s operations cost.”
Senator Albert, who is the leader of the Akwa Ibom State Caucus in the National Assembly, Abuja posited that “A new era has begun for the country’s oil and gas industry”, noting that necessary steps have been taken to actualise the new regime implementation through the appointment of members into the new board as provided for by the Act.
“The appointment of members into the new board provided for by the PIA is very critical. The Federal Government has taken a bold step in this direction, constituting the boards within six months as provided for by the PIA. The legislature has done its part in the screening of nominees in line with provisions of the law and the appointees had since resumed at their duty posts. A new era has begun for the country’s oil and gas industry. We will follow through with the implementation of the various provisions of the law as part of our oversight role.
“Interestingly, the PIA is segmented into five cardinal areas: Governance and Institution; Administration; Host Community Development; Petroleum Industry Fiscal Framework; and Miscellaneous provisions. The PIA heralds a new dawn for the Nigerian oil and gas industry, which through regulatory and fiscal derivatives will allow the upstream sector to create a sustainable structure to address long-term concerns of attracting investment and development of the energy transition framework for Nigeria.
“One of the most strategic and critical focus of the PIA is the development of the country’s mainstream and downstream gas infrastructure through the implementation of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) structure to end the huge gas infrastructural deficit and deepen our domestic gas utilization with the creation of the midstream and downstream gas infrastructure fund.