Participants at a summit held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, have called on the Federal Government to ensure the immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law and make it operational.
The stakeholders, who met on Wednesday to discuss the way forward for the oil and gas sector, explained that the passage of all facets of the PIB into law would enhance foreign direct investment.
One of the participants at the event and Chairman, International Association of Drilling Contractors, Mr Ote Enaibe, said the passage of the bill was key to attracting foreign investments into Nigeria.
He pointed out that the non-passage of the PIB would scare investors away from the country, adding that Nigeria had lost huge sums of money to the non-passage of the bill.
He stated, “To move forward, the Minister of Petroleum and President Muhammadu Buhari should ensure the passage of the bill the way it is; no bill is perfect, there can be amendments to existing bills, but we need that legal framework for foreign direct investments to come into the industry in Nigeria.
“The framework of the PIB is key to more investments. We will get money from foreign direct investors. No international company will invest money for a long time in Nigeria when there is no regime that will guarantee the recovery of funds invested with interest over a time.”
In his remarks, the Zonal Operations Controller, Port Harcourt Zone, Department of Petroleum Resources, Dr Frank Briggs, said the oil and gas industry was facing a lot of challenges.
Briggs listed some of the challenges as fluctuating crude oil price, economic uncertainty and non-adherence to the provisions of laws guiding the oil and gas industry.
The Business and Government Relations Manager, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Ighemuno Onokpite, explained that the event was organised with a view to proffering solutions to the challenges facing the industry.
Onokpite maintained that the problems identified in the past had always been addressed by stakeholders in the industry.