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PENGASSAN canvasses investor-friendly PIGB

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The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) currently before the National Assembly must have a balanced outlook when passed into law by ensuring that investors’ interest is taking into consideration.

President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifo, made the submission at the sixth triennial branch delegates conference of the Total E and P Nigeria branch of the association.

He submitted that providing a lot of incentives for investors would ensure that they pump more funds into the oil and gas sector.

The PIGB, which is intended as a complete overhaul of the industry, seeks to, among others, ensure an increased level of transparency and accountability in the sector by strengthening the governing institutions to attract capital through changes to the governance, administrative, regulatory and fiscal framework of the oil and gas sector.

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The bill has seen different back and forth over 20 years. There have been failed attempts by the previous assemblies to pass the proposed piece of legislation for better management of the country’s oil sector.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had at different occasions promised an April or May delivery date.

Osifo, however, called on the Federal Government to ensure that Nigeria has a favourable PIGB.

He said: “When we say a PIGB should be balanced, what we mean is that as long as government wants to make money, they should also look at investors so that these investors would not run away to other countries.

“Today, we have about 37 billion barrels reserves of crude oil. If we have investors that come in and put in money, they will continuously develop these reserves and our national production will increase. But if government refuses to provide incentives for investors, they will run to other countries. Also, we want investors to make more money so that our members will be better for it.”

On the theme of the conference, “Energy transition and its implications for PENGASSAN,” Osifo warned that the transformation in the energy sector would pose serious socio-economic and political implications if the country does not diversify its economy.

He said the association was working on expanding its tentacles to solar energy and electricity “so that in the nearest future, we will still be relevant in the scheme of things in the industry.”

Osifo went on: “If China today produces more electric-driven cars, the demand for crude oil from us will reduce and it will affect us as a nation.

“We must be prepared as an association so that we won’t be taking unawares.”

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