Delegates at the 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) on Thursday said the country was losing investments in the oil and gas sector due to delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The delegates made the assertion in a communique issued at the end of the four-day summit with the theme: ”From Crisis to Opportunities: New Approach to the Future of Hydrocarbons”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the leadership of the National Assembly had during the summit assured that the PIB would be passed before the end of June.
However, the 21-point communique which was read by Mr Charles Odenigbo, Senior Fellow Centre for Media Law, expressed concern over the delay in the passage of the bill.
It said: “Summit agrees that the PIB is the catalyst for the development of the oil and gas industry, even though the national assembly expressed commitment to pass the PIB within the month of June, 2021.
“Delegates are concerned that every day, week or month that the national assembly delays in passing the PIB, investment will be moving faster to other countries.
“Nigeria might just regret if the PIB is delayed further or arrives late and turns out to be an exercise in futility or arrives in a state of irrelevance to the present realities of global energy needs.”
The communique said Nigeria needs to embrace both gas and renewable energy transition, leverage cleaner power, embrace digitisation, lower emissions and cost, improve efficiency and competitiveness.
It noted that Nigeria was on track by moving its economy to greener energy resources in the area of renewables as gas was currently serving as the bridge to achieving that.
The communique said: “The industry unanimously agreed that energy transition is real.
“Therefore there is the need for all key actors, government, regulators, the private sector, and the whole supply chain of the industry to work together to ensure that Nigeria becomes an attractive destination for investment.
“The measurement of collaborations in the industry should be given very high attention and reviewed every year that NIPS is organised to help ascertain or check milestones from decisions and suggestions.”
It said the infrastructure needed to drive the Decade of Gas must be put in place within the next five years speedily and effectively, so as to achieve the key objectives of the declaration.
The communique further noted that modular refineries were very crucial to the development of Nigeria as they could be easily located in all the 36 states of the federation because they have speed and flexibility.
It said: “Nigeria needs small, medium and big players in the industry so as to cover the expected spectrum of development.
“Hence, government and regulatory bodies should incentivise the industry by creating enabling comfortable and flexible environment conducive to achieving the laudable lofty objectives already in place.”