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Plummeting crude oil prices: Stakeholders harp on passage of PIB


THE need for the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was brought to the fore again last week when stakeholders in the oil and gas industry gathered to discuss the impact of plummeting crude oil prices on the economy.

  Specifically, the stakeholders believe that quick passage of the industry will assist in eliminating investors fear about return on investment and encourage private ownership of refineries, which would help the country deal with the current situation in the crude oil market.

  The position of these stakeholders were made known during the  First Quarter Roundtable on Nigerian Economy organised by Nigerian NewsDirect newspaper in Lagos. 

  The theme of the Roundtable is entitled ” Government policies and impact of falling oil prices on Nigerian Economy: Way forward for investors” 

  Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Mr. Femi Olawore, appealed to policy makers to address the challenges of foreign exchange fluctuations and ensure passage of PIB to enable investors plan ahead. 

  He suggested that the immediate solution will be to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) containing the deregulation of downstream by the National Assembly.

  He said the government should look inward by halting what we do not really need like importation of toothpicks and items of such.

  “If we can fix power sector, patronage of diesel will drop, and price of diesel will also drop. Unless the downstream sector is fully deregulated, domestic price may not reflect current price at the international market, he said.  

  However, due to the fall in prices of oil, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central  Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised interest rates from 12 to 13 per cent and at the same time devalued the naira. The exchange rate of naira to dollar has dropped to N210 last week.

  The Chairman of the Roundtable, Dr Diran Fawibe, explained that the fall in crude oil price is affecting the country because the government focuses only on oil and gas sector as main source of foreign exchange earnings. 

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