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PIB: Experts tasks FG on incentives to attract investors

As Nigerians awaits the passage of the highly anticipated Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), experts in the Oil & Gas Industry have called on the federal government to create incentives that will make international organisations committed to Nigeria.

Speaking in Lagos at an Education Series for Media on reforming the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, a Professor of Petroleum Economics, Professor Wumi Iledare, said the PIB must not be about government making money but creating value for the future.

Iledare who spoke on the topic, ‘Reforming the Oil & Gas sector in Nigeria – PIB 2020 Fiscals (Improving Competiveness and Attractiveness of Nigeria as an Investment Destination)’,  said the proposed PIB remains a veritable tool towards ensuring needed reform of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

The education series was organised by The Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform (FOSTER)

According to Prof Iledare, the reformation of the oil and gas sector begins with fiscal terms, stressing that the Nigerian government is not nurturing the oil and gas industry, saying that is the reason why the country is where it is today.

Speaking further, he said government must move away from thinking that the budget must be funded, adding that this is the time to for the government to sacrifice for the sake of the future without necessarily breaking. He said oil as a source of revenue is destructive.

“Nigeria has all it takes to move away from dependence in oil. It is better to have a lot of people employed than to have a lot of people dependent. At times, the government needs to let go, while creating incentives, corporate rewards for risk investments are inevitable. It is better to export petroleum products than crude.

Prof Iledare, further noted that the PIB is not only for today alone, “it is also for the future. “We must ensure that we develop our system to absorb whatever shocks that comes.

He said a good fiscal framework must be flexible to change with trend to help bring the desired investments.

“We need an effective policy for the sector to enable the country to effectively use oil revenue  to develop other sectors of the economy. We need to create business hub to grow our economy, this is what PIB will facilitate when passed into law, ” he added.

Also, Mr. Israel Aye, an energy expert, also said that without good fiscal and legal framework, no investment would be made in the sector

He said that no investor would invest in a place of uncertainty, adding that none would also want to invest where it would incur loses.

Another expert in the oil industry, Mr. Israel Aye said that legal framework is capable of attracting investment. he however, stressed the need for independence of the oil sector regulator.

SOURCE: TheNation