Opinion: Implementing PIB to compliment subsidy removal

By Okoye chike

A drowsy air in the nation economy as we continue to chart a way forward in the current dispensation of president Muhammed Buhari. The aroused tension caused by high inflation in the nations economy, as Nigerians tighten loose ends to ensure we overcome the untold hardship of recent removal of subsidy on petrol, high bank interest, dollar exchange rate all becoming unbearable to the masses.

Nevertheless, the sincere wish in all and sundry facing this untold hardship is posed with a question on the minds of every Nigerian – how do we get out of all this? Why did we get ourselves into all this? Since the removal of subsidy, the cost of doing business has escalated as businesses increase their products prices and production cost is a lot higher as porous electricity energy cannot compliment subsidy removal the Niger delta Avengers has taken better portion of blames  for disruption of pipeline vandalism.

If every paragraph is filled with sarcastic overflow of downtrodden policies which rides the thoughts of many as shallow, we all should see the light at the end of the tunnel only if transparency and accountability is upheld.

If deep thought is paid to attention to the removal of subsidy, Nigerians believing in the policies they once rose against due to lack of trust in past regime would subside as the economy is enmeshed in financial crisis critical to collapse. It is understandable that sooner or later the awakening would take ripple effect on the economy which is happening but it would be of worthy note if we understood all about subsidy and with keen interest, keep tabs with the present administration concerning funds saved from subsidy removal worth over 16.4 billion naira monthly and if well channeled in the right sector to facilitate growth in our nation economy. Nigeria would be out of recession in sooner or no time.

As decline in the nation production per barrel which is about 440,000 barrel per day before coupled with the international price drop. The present administration to sought a way out to finance government project has led them to one third sourcing of budget from non oil sector.

However, subsidy could not be overlooked if proper explanation about a failed policy is not payed proper attention. Subsidy is a financial support or assistance such as a grant. Issuing grants to subsidize oil price in the country has taken a nose dive into abyss overtime.

In an economy, which depends heavily on oil revenue to meet government financial obligations, the fall in oil price had caused serious challenges to public treasury as most states of the federation are currently unable to pay workers’ salaries, and had been surviving a bailout funds from the federal government.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachiukwu, and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) have offered explanations on how the Federal Government arrived at N145, but giving a glimpse of hope on how to achieve lasting solution to the product scarcity, He stated that the when the refineries come on full stream, locally refined products would be left unsold in the reservoir to boost supply and availability of the products.

The priority is to ensure accountability in managing the resources of a bewildered economy. It will not be overlooked that the PIB petroleum industry bill will aid the country in directing it to a financial free country.if necessary steps are taken to ensure the passage of Bill in the house. This unturned stone is untouched by members even inherent of the fact of it advantages,the house also admitted its importance.

The Bill will only deal with selected issues. The earlier drafts of the  Petroleum Industry Bill sought to address a wide range of industry issues – institutional reform, upstream, downstream and gas administration, upstream fiscal matters and revenue management matters. It now appears that the government has accepted that this approach has contributed to the delays in the passage of the industry reforms.

The new Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), will be the first of a number of bills addressing different aspects of the industry reforms. The PIGB will focus on the key governing institutions in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Separating the roles of the government in the oil and gas industry. Under the current regime, there is no clear separation of government roles in the oil and gas industry leading to potential conflicts of interest. It is expected that the new Bill would identify the key government roles of policy, regulatory and commercial and place those functions within specific entities.

Clarifying the role of the Minister. The PIGB is likely to reduce the regulatory and commercial roles the Minister of Petroleum Resources has hitherto played in the oil and gas industry. The Minister will emerge as the driver of government policy in the sector. A new and independent regulatory institution. The current industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) sits within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The Bill is expected to create a new regulatory commission, fashioned after Nigeria’s electricity and communications commissions and merge the functions of DPR and the Petroleum Products and Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). The new commission should have independence from government to allow its decision to be taken with limited political influence as well as   independence from regulated entities.

Unbundling of NNPC. Unlike the restructuring exercise recently carried out by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the PIGB is expected to break up the NNPC with the emergence of at least two limited liability companies to absorb the assets and liabilities of the Corporation.

The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill as well as analysis of its contents will be published on www.petroleumindustrybill.com once it is published by the National Assembly.

It is a responsive government that remains proactive with guidelines to lead the nation out of this dilemma, history would be preserved if we as citizens give our support and keen interest to compliment this administration policies be implemented selflessness is all we want in public office to bring to fruition this policies.


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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