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New PIB may weaken oil industry’s growth if –LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed fear that some provisions of the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) could adversely affect growth of the industry and economy. Emphasising its support for government’s efforts at driving industry reform through a new PIB, the chamber noted that the key objectives of the PIB 2020, among others, which include reforming the institutional and fiscal framework, developing Nigeria’s gas sector further, creating a framework to support the development of host communities, foster sustainable prosperity and bringing in new investments to grow the country’s production capacity were positive steps toward achieving its stated goals. It also acknowledged that the bill mandates that Ministries, Departments  and Agencies (MDAs) consult with the commission prior to introducing overlapping legislation which will impact the oil and gas industry, allows for consultation with industry stakeholders before making regulations and commercialisation of NNPC  to improve business efficiency and effectiveness, especially in relation to Joint Venture activities The chamber, however,  noted that some of these improvements appear insufficient to deliver the true value which the bill aims to achieve. Director General of the chamber, Dr Muda Yusuf, who stated averred that Nigeria, with the largest oil and gas reserves in Africa, has huge untapped potential to achieve its economic development goals including gas-to-power ambitions.