The GMD of NNPC, Emmanuel Kachikwu has confirmed that plans are underway to amend the petroleum industry bill (PIB). According to Reuters, amending the bill will involve removing the tax element of the bill which has been a major impediment to the passage of the bill. Kachikwu had this to say immediately after been named Minister of State for Petroleum.
According to Kachikwu,
“There is a need to look at the PIB as it was submitted to the sixth assembly and try and tinker with that a bit…..There are all kinds of issues … one of those is whether we need to yank out the fiscal terms and develop them into a different law relying on existing fiscal laws and amend those,”
Reuters also reports Kachikwu confirmed that he will remain as head of NNPC “for a while” and commented on the government plans to review fuel subsidies as the nation faces a tough fiscal battle next year. More from Reuters on Kachikwu’s comment about subsidy;
He said the government was also looking at fuel subsidies, a heavy burden on the cash-strapped west African nation as it must import the bulk of its gasoline needs owing to a dilapidated refining system.
Kachikwu said the government was still studying what actual gasoline consumption was and said it would probably be revised lower to around 35 million litres per day, from the current estimate of 40 million litres per day.
Kachikwu is keen to scrap the subsidies. However, President Buhari is disinclined as he feels the subsidy system must be properly analysed first in order to see whether it can be kept to help the average Nigerian, who hitherto has benefited little from the country’s immense oil wealth