There are indications that the Federal Government is considering renaming the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, let this cat out the bag yesterday in Abuja at the Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) 10th international conference.
While discussing the comprehensive nature of the bill, Kachikwu severally referred to it as the Petroleum Reform Bill instead of the Petroleum Industry Bill. For a man of his experience, it cannot be a mistake that he consistently referred to the bill by that name instead of the commonly known PIB.
Regardless of the name change, however, the bill is still expected to deal with current problems encountered in the petroleum sector as well as aid in ensuring the efficient and effective use of the nation’s petroleum resources.
“The draft bill will capture the key positions including addressing the current gap in the petroleum act by providing clear rules for the exploration, development and utilisation of gas. It would also address other issues that are critically important to government and investors such as the issue of gas flaring, gas pricing, and provide the basis for gas licensing of activities throughout the gas value chain.” Guardian quotes Kachikwu as saying.
Once again harping on the need to boost the gas reserves of the country as well as efficiently utilize them, Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru said that for Nigeria’s gas sector to grow, it requires a new gas policy and an appropriate pricing structure and guarantees for payment.