Nigeria Petroleum Industry bill sings another nunc dimittis
By Sunny Oputa
The much talked about Nigeria Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which both the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and National Assembly touted that will be passed before the end of the year has lost its mojo and the issue has remained as silent as an abandoned grave yard. Like a lamb led to an unclean slaughter house, Nigeria PIB sings another nunc dimittis.
Contrary to the plenitude of analysis and predictions by both outsiders and those very close to the corridors of power that the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill will be signed into law by President Jonathan before the end of year, the circumstances of political malaise and arm-twisting may have shrouded the birth of this petroleum law. The struggle between Nigerian policy makers, the presidency and big oil companies to come to terms on the structures of the bill simply shows the strong hold of external environment in controlling the political machinery of Nigeria.
Nigerian masses have been made to believe that the PIB will usher in their messianic expectation for economic salvation. With the clock ticking, and the year rolling its blanket for another good bye, signing the PIB is least in the agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan and his People’s Democratic Party honchos that are facing a tough Primary election season this December in preparation for the presidential and general election in the country that will be held before the end of April 2015.
It has dawned on Nigerians and indigenous oil companies that the almighty petroleum industry bill may no longer be a reality in this year of our Lord. One thing that is clear to the Nigerian populace that has watched the nose-diving of the price of oil due to glut affect foreign direct investment in the country this year, is that internal and external forces controlling the economy of the number one oil producing country in the region is bigger than what they envisaged.
It is not yet total “Uhuru” (freedom) for the Nigerian oil industry and the realization of the year 2020 agenda intended to transform the economy and commercialize NNPC – the national petroleum company of the nation. Nigerians have started to get weary about the promised liberation from marginalization and obscurity through the expected petroleum industry bill, some are becoming pessimistic that the bill might suffer still –birth.
One consolation that remains for the industry practitioners is: if 2015 comes and President Goodluck Ebere Jonathan wins the presidential election, the second quarter is expected to be the period that the country will license more than 14 marginal oil fields both onshore and offshore. Avid observers have already declared 2015 as the “small-marginal oil and gas field year in Nigeria”.
PIB: Nigeria Will Lose Major Foreign Investments In Oil And Gas Sector