Chinazor Megbolu |
The President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Mr. Alex Tarka has said that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will boost investment in the oil and gas sector of the economy.
He stated this on Thursday at a Virtual workshop on Leveraging fiscal regulations to attract investments in the Petroleum sector.
He explained that it’s necessary for a policy that would help drive the expected investments and stimulus in the upstream oil and gas sector for employment opportunities and economic growth.
Tarka also hinted that the delay in the passage of PIB has negatively affected exploration in the oil and gas sector.
He also pointed out that there was need for aggressive exploration in Nigeria of which new fiscal policy of the PIB must reduce Government participation towards enabling investors to participate actively.
Tarka, during the meeting, further buttressed that only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had been involved in exploration in Nigeria presently, adding it doesn’t augur well for the sector with the role oil and gas sector playing in the economic development of the country.
The NAPE Chief Executive, however, maintained that government must endeavour that it stick to the date it had proposed in the presentation of the PIB to the National Assembly and ensure that its speedy passage.
According to Tarka; “due to lack of PIB, no exploration is currently going on in the country, only NNPC is the one operating; this is not good for the industry.
“The industry especially the upstream needs a lot of palliatives, waivers and stimulus to operate to enable it sustain employment .
“We need policies in place to get thing done properly’’.
He noted that delay in the passage of the PIB had driven away many investors from the sector adding that if PIB is quickly passed, it would show that the Federal Government is serious towards developing the oil and gas sector.
“Exploration is expensive, especially here, so as an investor, if I don’t see any seriousness by government to show how safe my investment will be, I will keep it elsewhere.
“Until PIB is passed, investors will continue to look elsewhere to invest, so, there is no better time than now to rub minds on this issue and get the bill passed,’’ Tarka said.