Investors Will Be Attracted By New Petroleum Industry Law – Minister

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Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, stated that the goal of the President’s signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law was to attract investors.

On Tuesday, the minister revealed this while responding to questions about the 3% allocation to host communities in the PIB in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Sylva, will speak extensively on the Act on Thursday, which will aid in the development of the oil and gas sector.

“As a country, we have a course that we are following. So, for us in the Niger Delta, if you talk about three percent in the Act, I’ll ask, three percent of what? Isn’t that preferable to knowing 100% of what you don’t know?

“What we want to accomplish is the philosophy behind this bill, which is to attract investors to Nigeria and produce as much crude as possible on the ground. That’s what we’re aiming for.

“We must measure everything against this philosophy, so that if activities are not taking place in the Niger Delta, nothing happens because investors look at the numbers to see if they add up for them to operate,” he said.

According to Sylva, the percentages are usually charged to operation costs, and a lot has been added to the operation costs in Nigeria.

He pointed out that there was a need to be cautious about adding more costs to the operation because the impact would be felt in other areas.

He claimed that the country’s high operating costs would deter investors.

Sylva pointed out that the problems with frontier exploration funds were not limited to the North, as some had suggested, but affected all areas where oil is being explored.

“Every frontier territory aspires to be a host community, and they are not all in the same place in the country; they are in Cross River, the North East, the South West, and so on, so when people think of frontier territory as being in one place, they are mistaken.

“We must come together as a country, as a frontier and host community, and for host communities; we must realize that, at the end of the day, it is about the philosophy of bringing investment to the territory,” he said.

According to Sylva, the country has had about 37 billion barrels of oil reserves for the past ten years and has not added to them, and production, which was about three million barrels, has decreased until recent work was done.

Sylva stated that the system needed to be reenergized and that the country needed to look forward to a positive outcome.

Read Also:  Petroleum ministry spent N14.5m to buy ‘biros’ in one year, Auditor-General reveals

On the price of gasoline, he stated that the sector had been fully deregulated since the PIB was signed into law.

He did say, however, that the deregulation would not happen right away.

Sylva explained that products would be sold at market-determined prices, and that the cost would be shared by all parties involved in the PIB signing.

He stated that the government was aware of the potential for hardship and difficulties for Nigerians.

“As a result, we will not rush to implement it; instead, the implementation framework will address how we will alleviate the suffering that this may cause.

“We will work with labor to ensure that a framework exists that allows us to implement deregulation,” he added.

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