Opposition to PIB Expected, But Reforms Must Go On says President Goodluck Jonathan
The Oil companies objections to the proposed overhaul of the petroleum sector through the Petroleum Industry Bill are expected, but the reforms are necessary.
President Goodluck Jonathan stated this on Thursday in an interview with The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires in New York, United States. The government is proposing sweeping changes to the country’s energy industry through the PIB, including a boost in the state’s share of oil sales.
“The laws were enacted in the 1950s. It’s now 2012,” President Jonathan said.
Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said the reforms, which will also split the NNPC into several new companies and take steps to fight endemic corruption, are long overdue.
“The Nigerian government’s portion of oil revenue is one of the lowest in the world and cannot be increased substantially under existing contracts with international oil companies.
“Nigeria has the lowest government take, which we felt was extremely punitive,” Alison-Madueke said.
“The bill, which was introduced in parliament in July, would lead to a halt in new investments if passed in its current form because of onerous fiscal terms,” Mark Ward, the head of Exxon’s Nigeria operations said Thursday in Lagos, according to Agence France-Presse reports.