Prof. Wumi Iledare, former President Nigerian Association for Energy Economists (NAEE), says signing of the Amended Deep Offshore Act into law is very symbolic.
Iledare in an interview with Newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday however said if the president had signed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), into law in 2018, the industry would have been better off now.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in London, signed the amended act.
The Amended Deep Offshore Act, among other things, gives effect to certain fiscal incentives to the oil and gas companies operating in the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin areas under production.
They share contracts between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation or other companies holding oil prospecting licenses or oil mining lease, and various petroleum exploration and production companies.
The former NAEE president said the country had lost so much in the past years.
“Certainly, the signing of the Bill is symbolic; but there is not much you can do to recover the lost ground.
“If the Act had been amended in 2004, the direct benefits accrued would have been more than just the symbolism,’’ he added.
“The immediate benefit to the nation if the president had signed the PIGB in 2018 would have been much more than the Act the president signed on Monday.
“Nonetheless, you can look at it from the viewpoint that the Executive and National Assembly are in sync to do something together with respect to reforming the oil sector.
“This symbolism though, you cannot take away from the President and his team’” he added.
Also commenting, Mr Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, Chairman of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), said that with the Act, all Product Sharing Contracts (PSC), would attract royalty based on combination of water depth and oil price.
“Before this Act, we had zero royalties from Agbami, Akpo, Bonga and Erha, our biggest producers.
“Now 10 per cent flat royalties on these prolific producers, based on water depth and 2.5 per cent royalties based on today’s oil price at 58 dollars, will be paid.
“Yes, the Government will get more money from the existing oil assets in the short term 2020/21.
“Thereafter production decline without new investment will hit Nigeria. They need to understand that the impact is that, new investments are the negative consequences,’’ he added.
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