OPEC Hails Signing Of PIB, Says It Would Prosper Nigeria



Kyari's Death: OPEC Scribe Commiserate with President Buhari, Nigeria

…as NEITI described the  development as historic

Olusola Bello

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, on Monday expressed optimism that the detailed legislative work done by the National Assembly on the Petroleum Industry Bill and the assent by the President will mark the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity that will be beneficial to the petroleum industry and ultimately to the Nigerian people.

In a letter to the President, Secretary General, OPEC, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, who congratulated him, stated that Nigeria stands a chance to increase its crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, from 37 billion barrels.

The letter was sent to President Muhammadu  Buhari shortly after he signed the nation’s Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law.

Barkindo told the President in the letter that with the stroke of a pen, he has inaugurated a new era for the industry following years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector.

He said, “Indeed, the new law will enhance the Nigerian petroleum industry’s reputation, open the door to new investment, and ultimately strengthen its position to meet the world’s growing demand for energy. The enactment of this legislation is especially timely as the investment outlook becomes clouded by efforts aimed at accelerating a lower-carbon future.

“Furthermore, the new law will help harness Nigeria’s potential to achieve its programme of raising oil production to 4 mb/d and oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, while also drawing on the country’s vast natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy.

“In addition, these resources will be vital to supplying world markets with a broad portfolio of energy options, and support global efforts to alleviate energy poverty as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7.”

The OPEC Boss said the passage of the PIB by both houses of the National Assembly on 16 July 2021 and the act of signing it into law coincide with another significant milestone in Nigeria’s history – the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s Membership of OPEC.

He added, “This golden moment provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon Nigeria’s rise as a global energy supplier and partner. Since the 24th OPEC Conference on 12 July 1971, when Nigeria received a unanimous and enthusiastic welcome as the 11th Member Country of the Organization, our country has come to symbolize Africa’s leadership within OPEC and its pivotal support for global oil market stability.”

Barkindo, who noted that the past year has been a time of enormous challenges for the world, for OPEC, and for each Member Country, further said that throughout the difficult period, members have demonstrated the enduring importance of OPEC and its timeless commitment to dialogue, cooperation, multilateralism and respect among all nations.

He added, “In this respect, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your instrumental support in establishing the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) that was agreed on 10 December 2016.

“We could not envision at that time how important this framework would become during the COVID-19-related market crisis.

“It enabled bold, swift and decisive actions to address the historically unprecedented market downfall in 2020, and it has been vital to the ongoing efforts to provide a platform for recovery and future growth.

“Furthermore, your support of the Charter of Cooperation, signed on 2 July 2019, has paved the way for enhanced cooperation beyond the market balancing efforts by all countries participating in the DoC.

“The markets continue to recognize the vital contributions that OPEC and the non-OPEC Participating Countries are making to the market’s recovery, to the global economy as a whole, and to fostering constructive dialogue.”

Also commenting on the development,the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has been described as a historic development, the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said this in a statement signed by  Obiageli Onuorah, Head Communication and Advocacy .

Orji said the new Petroleum Industry Law had ended decades of uncertainty concerning the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

“The new law has opened a new phase of wider opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

“For us in NEITI, President Muhammadu Buhari has broken new grounds, created new business horizon built on healthy legal frameworks with realistic optimism for inflow of investments, revenue growth and job opportunities,” he said.

He applauded the Presidential assent to the bill, adding that NEITI looked forward to playing active roles in designing a new future for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry under the new Petroleum Industry Act.

“The signing into Law of the PIB has demonstrated government’s resolve to strengthen governance processes and systems, especially in the extractive industry through an institutional and legal framework.

“NEITI is encouraged by the development,” he noted.

Orji further expressed delight that the “The Petroleum Industry Law will provide the dynamic legal governance framework required to re-position Nigeria’s petroleum industry to fully embrace competition, openness, accountability and professionalism.

According to him, the law will bring about better returns on investments to both companies and the government.

“I want to also use this opportunity to call on companies, government agencies and civil societies involved in the oil and gas sector governance to give this law a chance to succeed.

“NEITI will study the contents of the new law and work with national and global partners, especially the EITI to use the law to open the Nigeria oil and gas sector for transparency, accountability and inflow of foreign direct investments into Nigeria.

“NEITI is hopeful that the huge revenue losses which Nigeria has witnessed over these years as a result of process lapses and weaknesses in previous laws will be checked while restoring investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector,” he said

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Buhari on August 16 assented to the PIB, which was passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly in July.

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