ABUJA, NIGERIA — (News.Randburg – June 16th, 2011) – Nigeria’s revolutionary new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has been a decade in the making and sets out to make Nigeria’s oil and gas sector fairer, safer and more beneficial for everyone involved. The country’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been a passionate supporter of the bill.
Despite setbacks and ongoing debate, Mrs. Madueke still believes the bill can (and should) become law. In the Aret Adams Foundation Memorial Lecture this year, she explained why.
The Petroleum Industry Bill is extremely extensive and has been created from the amalgamation of 16 laws of the industry. It has five key areas, including the commercialisation of the national oil company. The bill will create a new commission to make accountability very clear and in keeping with one of the fundamental principles of reform: namely separating policy, regulatory and commercial operations.
“It is clear that the Nigerian oil and gas industry is characterised by too much opaqueness in its operations,” Mrs. Madueke told the lecture audience. “As part of the principles of good governance, the removal of such extreme confidentiality would create transparency. The PIB as proposed removes overt opaqueness for all procedures, contracts and payments on a scale never seen before. This will mean that Nigeria moves from an opaque petroleum nation to one of the most open and transparent in the world.
“All petroleum geological, geophysical, technical and well data will be accessible for all interested individuals and placed in a national database. For instance, through this bill, petroleum prospecting licenses and petroleum mining leases would only be granted by leave of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources through a truly competitive and transparent bid process, which will then be open and accessible to all qualified companies.”
Through the PIB, no project would be approved without adhering to new obligations including: the employment of Nigerian citizens, the purchase of local goods and services and the provision of training and education: “Organisations should engage local communities on a sustainable basis by making host communities key stakeholders in the project development circle,” the minister said.
The PIB also has environmental benefits. Among other things, a robust gas production policy was entrenched in the PIB to end gas flaring as a matter of urgency, and monetise gas by encouraging the establishment of gas based industries.
For more information read:
Diezani Allison-Madueke Profile