BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has challenged stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to implement the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 for positive growth in the sector.
Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote hinted this during a panel session at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.
He warned that making unending changes to the structures set up by PIA 2021 could kill the confidence of investors and stall new projects in the oil and gas sector.
Wabote disclosed that the PIA contains adequate provisions to ignite growth in the energy sector, just as he advised the Federal Government and key stakeholders to avoid the temptation of tweaking the law at every turn.
He said: “Policy somersault can kill the confidence of investors. Once a nation or economic sector is known for trial-and-error initiatives, it makes the investors to adopt a wait-and-see attitude or move on to other entities.”
While acknowledging the need to seek areas of improvement, he cautioned that it is injurious to the investment climate if stakeholders are in a perpetual state of policy modifications or amendment of laws that are yet to be fully implemented.
Wabote recalled that it took the Nigerian oil and gas industry almost two decades to pass the PIA, as many stakeholders had linked the delay in the passage of the then Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as the reason for lack of investment in the industry.
The executive secretary recommended timely decisions on lingering issues of divestments, assignments and acquisitions, bid rounds, inter-agency collaborations and sanctity of contracts as some ideas that would trigger growth.
He canvassed for the speedy completion of the Dangote Refinery project, adding that the Presidential Power Initiative in partnership with Siemens and the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt and Warri Refineries would revamp the sector.
“The construction of the 615km AKK Pipeline is an ignition point for growth, we need to keep at it till completion, otherwise, it remains a pipe dream,” he added.
Wabote harped on the need to set local content practice as a national agenda to address recurring issues in the economy.
He recalled that Presidential Executive Order 003 required that MDAs must give preference to made-in-Nigeria brands in eight products, lamenting that the implementation has been abandoned in public procurement.
The scribe said that the successes recorded in the practice of Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry needed to be replicated and sustained across other sectors of the economy to promote local manufacturing and productivity.
BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja