By Chinora Ugwu.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law to dispel the air of uncertainty around the industry, create an enabling environment for the industry to flourish and dissuade the International Oil Companies (IOCs) from exiting the country.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this plea while speaking on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) morning talk show, “GoodMorning Nigeria’ with the topic: ‘Nigeria Lingering LNG Projects’ on Monday in Abuja.
Dr. Baru noted that the long delay in the passage of the PIB had led to uncertainty in the fiscal terms, while the recent move by the National Assembly to amend the NLNG Act had also dampened the optimism of investors in the industry.
“The Review of the NLNG Act by the National Assembly is causing a challenge for the Federal Government and the IOCs and it is sending wrong signals to the international community about how business is done in the country,” Dr. Baru stated.
The NNPC helmsman said the NLNG market was growing at a tremendous rate, disclosing that between now and 2030, it is projected that the market would grow by 65 per cent.
He said the market for LNG was there and that the Federal Government would do everything to take advantage of the opportunity.
Dr. Baru informed that the Federal Government would do everything to ensure the take-off of Bonny NLNG Train 7 and the Brass LNG in the months ahead after which the Olokola LNG would come on board if the fundamentals were strong.
He stated that the NNPC was refocusing on the Brass LNG and rebuilding the confidence of investors on the project after the exit of Conocophillips a few years ago, adding that Nigerians and the Federal Government would gain a lot from the project in terms of taxes, royalties and profits.
He noted that when the project comes on stream, it would create massive employment opportunities for Nigerians.
“We are refocusing on Brass LNG and rebuilding the confidence of the IOCs in the project. It has a lot to do for Nigerians as it will create employment opportunities and create more revenue opportunities for the Federal Government. We will continue to put the right enablers in place for the project to go on,” Dr. Baru averred.
The NNPC GMD described the Bonny NLNG as one of the biggest success stories of the Nigerian oil and gas industry since it came on stream in 1995, affirming that the project has generated $90 billion revenue, $30 billion dividends and contributed 4 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product since inception.
Dr. Baru noted that the focus of the industry was to ensure stable security of investment, personnel and investors and to ensure that all community issues were addressed in order to boost revenue for the government and investors from the industry.
On his part, former GMD of the NNPC, Dr. Jackson Gaius Obaseki, commended the current leadership of the NNPC for its commitment to the growth and development of the oil and gas Industry, noting that the leadership has what it takes to make the Bonny NLNG Train 7, Brass LNG project and OK LNG to materialize.