Mr Alex Tarka, President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) says the delay in the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has negatively impacted exploration in the oil and gas sector.
Tarka made this known at Virtual workshop on Leveraging fiscal regulations to attract Investments in the Petroleum sector last week.
He said that there was the need for policy that would help drive the expected investments and stimulus in the upstream oil and gas sector for employment generation and economic growth.
The Minister of State for petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva had on July 14 announced that the PIB would be sent to the NASS in two weeks.
The National Assembly said it is expecting the new PIB soon for deliberations and debate to begin on the much-awaited piece of legislation.
He said there was need for aggressive exploration in the country noting that new fiscal policy of the PIB must reduce government participation to enable investors to participate.
He said that currently only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had been involved in exploration in the country.
This, he said, was not good for the sector with the role oil and gas sector played in the economic development of the country.
NAPE president noted that government must ensure that it stuck to the date it had proposed in the presentation of the PIB to the National Assembly and ensure that its speedy paasage.
“Due to lack of PIB, no exploration is currently going on in the country, only NNPC is the one operating; this is not good for the industry.
“The industry especially the upstream needs a lot of palliatives, waivers and stimulus to operate to enable it sustain employment.
“We need policies in place to get thing done properly,’’ he noted.
Tarka further noted that delay in passing PIB had driven away many investors to the sector adding that the quick passage of the bill would show the seriousness of Nigerian government in developing the sector.
“Exploration is expensive, especially here, so as an investor, if I don’t see any seriousness by government to show how safe my investment will be, I will keep it elsewhere.
“Until PIB is passed, investors will continue to look elsewhere to invest, so, there is no better time than now to rob minds on this issue and get the bill passed,’’ he added.