The Senate President, David Mark, has put word to international oil companies operating in Nigeria to desist from threatening to relocate out of Nigeria. He issued this warning while declaring open a public two day hearing on the PIB( Petroleum Industry Bill) organised by the senate committee. The popular Bill which is closely followed by the Freedom of Information Bill stands to ‘Nigerianise’ the Nigerian oil and gas sector. Behind the jargon of the Bill which is mostly important those who enjoy reading it thus, the Bill will have the following implications on Nigeria/in Nigeria.
• More jobs for Nigerians – as it will become illegal to employ foreigners for certain skills that can be sourced locally
• Where such skills are sourced from abroad due to unavailability locally, a local understudying the expat is a requirement
• The above is applicable not only to skill, but to materials sourcing
• The above means more jobs for Nigerian local contractors, especially those from the oil producing regions
• Gas is still under-focused in Nigeria and the potential from this source of energy lays untapped. PIB seeks to maximize this. If well explored, this will boost power supply in Nigeria
• Government revenue from oil industry will increase. This means more funds in the hands of government to engage in developmental activities, ideally
• The downstream sector becomes fully deregulated. In other words, subsidy will fully go.
• Environmental protection – what Saro Wiwa and co fought for, and the initial grudge of the Niger Delta militancy – will be addressed to a large extent. (Nairaland)
The sixth National assembly tried to pass the bill but that did not work out very well as several versions of the bill turned up at the final hearing. He is optimistic that this time around we will have better results.