By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, disclosed that the long delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, has led to a number of divestments in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
In a statement in Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, also stated that the delay in the passage of the critical oil industry bill was also fuelling uncertainty in the industry.
Speaking while receiving members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), who were on an oversight visit to the Corporation, Kyari lamented that international investors were already losing confidence in the nation’s oil and gas industry, hence he called on the lawmakers to act fast and arrest the situation.
He explained that the absence of a stable fiscal environment was inhibiting the growth of the Nigerian petroleum industry, especially the upstream sector.
He said: “We need to act quickly to move from this unstable situation to a very stable one and the only way is for us to get the PIB to work so that countries and investors can work with us.”
The NNPC boss maintained that foreign capital was needed in the upstream sector, adding that the only way to attract it was to have stable laws and a friendly business environment that could guarantee cost recovery and a decent return on investment for investors.
He also stated that the drive by the management of the NNPC to entrench the culture of transparency in the corporation had improved its business fortunes and creditworthiness, as lenders were now willing to grant credit to it.
On his part, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Musa Sarki Adar expressed the readiness of his committee to provide the necessary support for the corporation to discharge its duties without hindrance.
He acknowledged the NNPC’s efforts at deepening transparency and accountability, stressing that the committee was impressed with the level of professionalism exhibited by the NNPC management and the leadership role played by Kyari in rallying the oil and gas industry to provide support for the Federal Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his presentation, Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, Engr. Mansur Sambo said the company has increased its gas production to 860 million standard cubic feet per day, mmscfd, and is now the largest supplier of gas to the domestic market.