By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has 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 Mrs Obiageli Onuorah, Head Communication and Advocacy, in Abuja, on Monday.
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 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. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)