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Harmonisation of existing PIB versions from 2000 to date at final stage—Minister

…Plans different regulators for midstream, downstream sectors

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has raised the dampened hopes of oil and gas industry stakeholders and Nigerians on the chances of early passage and presidential assent of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Speaking at a ministerial media chat in Abuja on Thursday in his office, he revealed that  “The team working on the PIB is at the final stage of the harmonisation of all the existing versions from 2000 to date (2009, 2012, and 2018) with consideration to the concerns raised by the industry players to create an enabling environment for investors as well as appropriate Government take in all the oil and gas value chain.”

According to him, “Counting on the current harmony between the Executive and Legislative arms of the Government, we are optimistic that both the Petroleum Industry Governance, Administration & Host Communities Bill on one hand and  Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill on the other will be passed within the first anniversary of this administration.”

Aside the state of PIB, the Minister disclosed that “Special focus will be placed on the Midstream and Downstream sectors. Consequently, we are considering two regulators, one for the Upstream (the Commission) and another for the Midstream & Downstream (the Authority). The Midstream and Downstream sectors will particularly open enormous opportunities to local investors and consequently create massive job opportunities in the country.

“For example, investments will be available in pipeline engineering design, procurement &construction, terminal operations, pipe mills, fabrication of pressure vessels, storage facilities, pipe transportation and laying equipments, Refineries, Central Processing Facilities and also investment in Gas-based industries (Fertilizer, Methanol, Petrochemicals, LPG and CNG) etc. Open access for oil and gas transportation will be fully enhanced.

“On the upstream side, we are coming up with more robust fiscal provision, acreage management, drilling-or-drop programme, etc. We are not only going to retain investors, multitudes will join the leagues of high-value operators.