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PTDF, stakeholders brainstorm on oil sector laws

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders, has harped on the need for lawyers to be informed on emerging trends in the oil and gas industry.

Speaking at a two-day workshop for counsels of the Federal Ministry of Justice and other key stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the fund, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau, said the industry is governed by an intricate network of legislations that require legal practitioners to be updated of happenings in the sector.

The workshop, organised by the PTDF, had as its theme ‘Enhancing the Quality of Legal Service in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry’.

Dr. Gusau said the theme was informed by the desire and commitment to keep participants abreast of the important legislations that govern the oil and gas industry.

“It is important that we understand how these laws are evolving. That is why PTDF finds it imperative to partner with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Federation in order to conduct this particular exercise,” Gusau said.

In his remarks at the event, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said there was absolute need to build the capacity of judicial workers in the workings of the oil and gas industry.

The minister expressed discomfort with the laws affecting the oil and gas industry, explaining that clarity in the drafting of the laws would eliminate the many disagreements and lawsuits currently witnessed in the industry and save the country from huge judgement debts.

Sylva, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Moses Olamide, said over the years, the Nigerian petroleum industry had operated with laws that were not in tandem with global standards, which brought to the fore the need for a review of the legal issues of the industry.

He said:  “For many years, the Nigerian oil and gas industry has been operating in an agglomeration of legislations and guidelines which sometimes are not in harmony with the industry trends practiced globally. Our best bet for the industry, is it is better we write our laws very clearly. It is better we do all the negotiations possible; it is better we do all the reconciliation and conciliation that are possible before we sign off on our laws. It is going to reduce a lot of acrimony.”

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, who was represented by Tahiru Hamza, Director, Legal Drafting in the ministry, said the workshop came as a result of the need to train its staff in the areas relating to oil and gas activities in line with the PTDF mandate.

SOURCE: DailyTrust