[From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar]
Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial District, Gershom Bassey says the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is a major milestone for Nigeria.
Senator Bassey made this known while responding to concerns raised by the bill in recent time by stakeholders across the region.
He maintained that though the Act is not perfect, it is a living document and there will be amendments.
He stressed that the bill will foster predictability in the oil industry which was lacking and this will benefit the country.
“The PIA is a major milestone for Nigeria but it is not perfect. As it comes into use there will be amendments here and there so it’s a living document.
“The PIB as passed encourages more inflows into the country through the Oil & Gas sector.
“These types of inflows and production are things that will benefit us in the south because for the past 15 years, there has been minimal investment in the oil and gas industry.
“There has only been one bid round and the bid round was not successful, and we have had bid rounds in the marginal fields, which has not been realizable and these are all directly attributable to an unpredictable oil and gas environment.
“What the PIB does is to bring predictability to the oil and gas environment and with predictability comes investments.
“So ultimately, it may not be a perfect bill, and I don’t think it’s a perfect bill but it is a bill that we can work with to ensure that there’s investments in the oil and gas industry”, he said.
Senator Bassey also advocated for a strong and all inclusive national planning before budgeting.
He said they have been advocating an all inclusive national planning before budgeting as obtainable in industrialized industries.