The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged the Senate to consider simplifying the fiscal provisions in the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB) to ensure easy implementation of the law.
Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this submission during the Senate Joint Committee Public Hearing on the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB), Petroleum Host and Impacted Communities Development Bill (PHICDB) and Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB) at the National Assembly on Monday.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gas and Power, Engr. Saidu Mohammed, the GMD also advocated for the inclusion of clauses to make it easy for the law to be reviewed in response to economic, technical and other considerations.
The corporation advocated for incentivizing oil and gas operations to attract investment into the country.
He said there was need to leave out all regulatory issues in the Bill to ensure progressivity and empower the regulatory commission to effectively regulate the industry.
He said NNPC was fully in support of the Petroleum Industry Reform Bill which has now been broken into regulatory, operational and administrative segments for easy passage.
The GMD said the original Petroleum Industry Bill was borne out of the Federal Government’s desire to put in place a robust and desirable legislation to engender transparency, accountability and fairness in the nation’s Oil and Gas Industry.
He noted that although the process of getting the Bill passed had been very challenging, the National Assembly had taken the most practical step to advance its passage by breaking it into phases.
“It is laudable to note that the Governance Bill has been passed by the Legislature while the Fiscal Bill, Administration Bill, and the Host and Impacted Communities Development Bill are going through legislative processes.
“NNPC appreciates the opportunity to review these bills and we have employed our deep expertise and experiences in the Industry to assess their provisions and will gladly make contributions that will not only enforce the desires of the National Assembly but will ensure that the reform bills when passed into law meet the expectations of Nigerians and investors alike,” Dr. Baru stated.
Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Marafa, said the public hearing on the three bills was the first time that the National Assembly was sponsoring the bills in bits and pieces for easy consideration and speedy passage of regulations that would lead to the reform of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.
In other matters, NNPC has dismissed insinuation of an approved N36billion compensation said to be due to Alesa-Eleme community in Rivers State as royalty for playing host to the Port Harcourt Refining Company, a subsidiary of the corporation.
A release by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, traced the origin of the phantom compensation story to a traditional ruler, regarded as a claimant to the Alesa-Eleme traditional stool.
According to the corporation, the said traditional ruler went to town with the fake story after a purported meeting with the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (HMSPR) and Board Chairman of the corporation, Dr. Emanuel Ibe Kachikwu.
NNPC affirmed that checks with the HMSPR indicated that no such meeting at which any such approval or promises were made took place, noting that the apparently fabricated story was designed to cause disharmony between the NNPC and the hospitable Alesa-Eleme Community.
The corporation emphasized that through the years, the Port Harcourt Refinery had enjoyed cordial relations with all the 10 communities in Eleme where the refinery is located, including Alesa Eleme and Alade Eleme through the Joint Community Relations committee (JCRC).