By KAYODE EKUNDAYO
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, has said that the signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by President Muhammadu Buhari, marks the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity that will be beneficial to the petroleum industry and ultimately to the Nigerian people.
The President had on Monday signed into law the 20 years bill, sequel to the passage by the National Assembly.
“Mr. President, your signature on the PIB caps many years of important deliberations and detailed legislative work. I wish to extend my congratulations to you on signing into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which marks a significant milestone for Nigeria’s oil industry and an historic achievement for your Presidency. With the stroke of a pen, you have inaugurated a new era for the industry following years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector.
Bakindo in a letter to the President dated August 26, 2021 stressed that the new law will enhance the Nigerian petroleum industry’s reputation, open the door to new investment, and ultimately strengthen its position to meet the world’s growing demand for energy. The enactment of this legislation is especially timely as the investment outlook becomes clouded by efforts aimed at accelerating a lower-carbon future.
“Furthermore, the new law will help harness Nigeria’s potential to achieve its programme of raising oil production to 4 mb/d and oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, while also drawing on the country’s vast natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy. In addition, these resources will be vital to supplying world markets with a broad portfolio of energy options, and support global efforts to alleviate energy poverty as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7”, he stated
Bakindo noted that the passage of the PIB by both houses of the National Assembly on 16 July 2021 and your act of signing it into law coincide with another significant milestone in our country’s history – the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s Membership of OPEC.
“This golden moment provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon Nigeria’s rise as a global energy supplier and partner. Since the 24th OPEC Conference on 12 July
1971, when Nigeria received a unanimous and enthusiastic welcome as the 11th Member Country of the Organization, our country has come to symbolize Africa’s leadership within OPEC and its pivotal support for global oil market stability”.