Experts Set Agenda For National Assembly On Early Passage Of PIB

Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have tasked members of the 9th National Assembly on the need to expedite action in the passage of the recently transmitted Petroleum Industry Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The experts expressed these views on Monday in Abuja at a forum to suggest the ways forward regarding the necessity of having the bill passed.

They also stressed the need for an efficient structured National Oil Company to create different economic opportunities using proceeds from the oil and gas sector.

According to the guest speaker at the event, Prof Uche Uwaleke, who delivered a paper on the impact of fuel subsidy on the nation’s economy, several drawbacks arising from its N1trn annual financial burden as well as its effects on the national budget deficit which ultimately necessitated borrowing was an issue.

He also called on policy makers to come up with ideas aimed at utilising revenues to be saved from subsidy to develop other sectors of the economy.

He, however, called on the government to engage in an enlightenment campaign and sensitise people on the advantages of subsidy removal to the economy and its long term benefits to the wellbeing of the people.

On his part as a legal consultant, Adegbite Adeniji called on the executive and legislature to use the current bill to reposition the oil and gas sector, which he said holds the key to the speedy and permanent diversification of the economy.

He said stakeholders must endeavour to solve the lack of inter-agency cooperation that has been the bane of effective regulations in the country, leading to duplications and multiple fines or levies imposed on regulated entities, thereby discouraging investment.

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