OrderPaperToday– The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Timipre Sylva, has stated that crude oil will no longer serve as a driver of global economy in the future, prompting the need for quick investments in the country’s oil and gas sector.
He stated this on Monday when he met with the leadership of the National Assembly over the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Efforts to pass the bill since 2000 have failed either as result of presidential veto or non passage at the federal chambers.
Sylva lamented that the country had wasted 20 years trying to reform the sector by putting in place required laws for its regulation.
He reiterated the need for the National Assembly to look into and pass the PIB presented by the Executive so that the country can gain investments from the sector before 2040 as he predicts a 50% loss of relevance of crude oil in global market.
According to him, the new PIB will make Nigeria attractive for investment.
Sylva said: “It is quite unfortunate that since year 2000 when attempts were made to come up with draft copy of PIB, to 2007, 2009 and 2012 when draft bills were submitted to different sessions of the National Assembly by the executive arm of government without passage, up till 2018 when the legislators came up with one that we are yet to put on ground required laws for effective regulation of the oil industry.
“Twenty years have been wasted in putting the laws in place for a sector that has 20 more years of full relevance going by forecasts already made.
“Forecasts in oil industry circles indicate that oil will play less and less role in global economy. Specifically, by year 2040 which is 20 years away, relevance of oil in global economy will reduce by 50%.
“The days of oil are numbered. Deposits of Coal did not run out before the world moved away from it.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate , Ahmad Lawan, assured the Executive arm that the PIB will be passed in his tenure.
“We want to break the jinx and we shall break it with the latest bill forwarded to us by the executive arm of government”, Lawan said.
Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila informed that a team of legislators versed in the sector has been assembled to work on the Bill.
“Oil represents the life-wire of our nation’s economy, making the PIB the most important piece of legislation that will come out of the 9th National Assembly in months or years to come.
“We will pass the bill speedily but not sacrifice thoroughness at the alter of speed. We have assembled a crack team of legislators who are versed in the workings of the industry”, Gbajabiamila said.
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