Dr Ije Jidenma, President, Institute of Directors (IoD) has stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to smoothen the rough edges in addressing challenges arising with implementing the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA).
Jidenma gave the advice at the IoD National Stakeholders’ Forum on The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, with the theme: ‘’Petroleum Industry Act, Governance and the Investor’’ on Thursday.
She said the advice was pertinent given the resurgence in investment in fossil fuel, in spite of the move to renewable energy and decarbonization.
The IoD President noted that the full transition would take some time with oil projected to remain relevant for at least the next thirty years.
She noted that while the PIA might not be a perfect piece of legislation at the moment, all stakeholders must ensure that through it, a most conducive business environment for investors and consumers is achieved.
“The PIA is expected to be a roadmap for potential and existing investors and also provide clarity and guidance in this area.
“It introduces revolutionary and pertinent changes to the governance, administrative, regulatory, policy formation and fiscal framework of the Nigerian petroleum industry.
“Expectations are very high that adherence to the extant provisions of the Act will bring about and ensure transparency in the industry, strengthen the governing institutions and attract investments, amongst other laudable objectives.
“We would collaborate with all stakeholders, through our energy and power committee, to ensure that Nigeria gets what it really deserves from this God-given resource.
“We must therefore as representatives of the private sector, support government efforts at sanitising the industry and making it attractive to the right investors,” she said.
Mr Gbite Adeniji, Managing Partner, ENR Advisory, said that the PIA framework was very new and would take a few years for the desired governance culture to emerge.
He, noting, that the innovations, regulatory framework and roles of the PIA were clearer, however, stated that the agencies of government were not independent.
This, he said, created potential for inter-agency conflict on environmental and competition regulations.
Adeniji added that the Act sidestepped the opportunity for the creation of an engine room for creative thinking and effective sector supervision in the office of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
“The dual regulatory model is problematic with implications for cost, time and efficiency to investors, consumers and the nation.
“The mind of the nation is not sufficiently settled around governance and the issue is less about the law than about the culture of governance in Nigeria,” he said.
Mr Osten Olorunsola, Chairman, Energy Institute of Nigeria, said the Act addressed the significant overhaul necessary in area of governance, uptake of new technologies, fiscal competitiveness, downstream operations and community inclusiveness.
“The endgame of a well implemented PIA would be a well managed petroleum sector, institutionalized by good governance, and ease of doing business,” he said.
Mrs Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, Deputy Managing Director, Falcon Corporation, said the PIA would send a strong signal of the optimisation and build up of the petroleum value chain.
She added that the framework which would boost gas investments showed good potentials for existing investors and interested investors with its signals for a more robust market and clarity.
She, however, stressed the need for Nigeria to hugely invest in infrastructure inclusive of rail and marine transportation to get gas to remote areas.