The passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and its signing into law as Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by President Muhammadu Buhari is one of Nigeria’s greatest achievements in the past several decades.
President Muhammadu Buhari [Presidency]
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this at a media briefing on Thursday in Lagos.
Mohammed said the feat recorded in a sector very critical to the nation’s economic well-being was also one of the greatest achievements of the Buhari administration in 2021.
He said the PIA was a landmark achievement that many had described as “the most profound event in the Nigerian oil and gas space in the last 20 years.”
According to the minister, the PIA was envisaged to foster investment in the petroleum and gas industry and delineate responsibilities to the various institutions.
He said its key objectives included the establishment of a commercialized National Oil Company (NNPC Ltd.) and entrenchment of accountability and good governance.
Mohammed said PIA would also promote the exploration and exploitation of the petroleum resources in Nigeria for the benefit of all Nigerians as well as foster the sustainable development of the host communities.
“Overall, the PIA serves to ensure the efficient and effective technical and operational regulation of the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry,’’ he said.
The minister said another major achievement in the oil and gas sector in 2021 was the posting of an N287 billion profit, after tax, by the NNPC.
He said it was the first time in 44 years that the corporation had recorded such profit attributed to aggressive cost-cutting measures and cost savings through renegotiation of contracts by up to 30 percent.
The minister also attributed the achievement to improved efficiency through business automation, emphasis on commercially-focused investment, and non-interference in the management of the corporation’s affairs.
Mohammed said the construction/rehabilitation of 21 roads under the Federal Government’s Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme was also a major achievement in the sector.
He recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved N621.2 billion for the NNPC to take over the reconstruction of the 21 federal roads across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The minister said the construction and rehabilitation of the selected roads were meant as strategic intervention under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure and Refreshment Tax Credit Scheme.