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Senate Investigates Implementation of PIA, Proposed ExxonMobil Exit

...As Senators Bassey, Sampson, Ndume Raise Concerns On Implementation

by Samuel Udoma

The Nigerian Senate has moved to investigate the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) passed in 2021 and the reported exit of a major international oil company (IOC) from the country.

This followed a motion by Senator Aniekan Bassey, representing Akwa Ibom North East, titled “Urgent Need for Enquiry into Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 with Regards to Potential Exit of International Oil Companies (IOCS) from Nigeria: Case of ExxonMobil in Akwa Ibom State.”

Senator Aniekan Bassey had observed that “the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) was enacted to provide legal governance, regulatory, and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry as well as address the multifarious challenges in the sector, which is still the mainstay of the country’s economic life.”

Bassey observed further that “the PIA has not made clear implementation plans for situations such as the now emerging trend of exit of IOCs and has not holistically resolved issues bothering the protection of the interests of the Federal Government, producing states, and host communities’.

Senator Bassey expressed fears about the potential adverse effects of the exit of ExxonMobil from Akwa Ibom State, including a high loss of jobs, the exit of core professionals and service companies from the state, a loss of revenue, and the abandonment of some yet-to-be satisfied obligations.

Related: PIA: A Strategic Legal Mechanism For Optimization Of Nigeria’s Oil And Gas Industry – Senator Bassey Albert

Senator Ekong Sampson

Taking the floor on the matter, Senator Ekong Sampson said that Akwa Ibom South was yet to feel the impact of the implementation of the PIA. Sampson noted that there were also concerns and anxiety over the process of the proposed exit plans for ExxonMobil.

Senator Sampson recalled that his Senatorial District, Akwa Ibom South, was a major contributor to the Nigerian economy through oil revenue. He said that the people of the senatorial district expect to benefit maximally from the PIA, but that has not been the case.

Senator Ali Ndume

Equally speaking in support of the motion, Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South, called on the Senate to adopt the prayers of the motion to investigate the PIA implementation, describing the motion as timely.

The Senate, in its resolution, mandated its Committees on Petroleum (Upstream), Downstream, Gas, and Host Communities to investigate the issues surrounding the PIA implementation and report the same for consideration.

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