Headlines PIA: Senate investigates non-implementation, exit of IOCs By maritimemag October 28, 2023 ShareTweet 0 By Abiodun OBA Senate Committees on Petroleum (Upstream), Downstream, and Gas are to investigate implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) with regards to potential exit of international oil companies (IOCs) from Nigeria. The oil and gas companies are expected to remit three per cent of their yearly operational expenditure to affected host communities going by section 257 (2) of the Act, which came into effect in August 2021. But two years later, none of the oil-producing companies has complied, prompting complaints from stakeholders in affected host communities, the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) with regards to potential exit of international oil companies (IOCs) from Nigeria. The resolution followed adoption of a motion on ‘Urgent need for enquiry into implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 with regards to potential exit of international oil companies from Nigeria: Case of ExxonMobil in Akwa Ibom State’. The motion was sponsored by Aniekan Etim Bassey (PDP, Akwa Ibom North East). In his lead debate, Bassey noted how discovery of gas and oil in commercial quantities in Nigeria led to the entry of IOCs, with the intention of advancing the sector’s exploration, development, and production. He said PIA was passed to solve numerous issues facing the industry, which is the foundation of the nation’s economy, and to provide legal governance, regulatory, and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum sector. He lamented lack of clear implementation plans for circumstances like current trend of IOCs exit and PIA’s failure to address in a comprehensive manner, issues that concern protection of the interests of host communities, producing states, and the Federal Government. He said: “The sudden withdrawal of Shell from Warri in Delta State left a void in terms of employment opportunities, infrastructural development, economic support, and has generated other profound negative implications for local communities and surrounding towns and cities, resulting in myriad of societal crises, security challenges; and has now reduced the once centre of activities into ghost towns and cities.” © 2023, maritimemag. All rights reserved.