Amid the virulent diatribe against Federal Government’s desire to end the highly contentious subsidy regime, its officials have continued to use every opportunity at their disposal to drum up support for its full implementation.
Just as the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed at a popular TV programme last week told Nigerians that transport allowances would be paid to them to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, at the just concluded Nigeria International Partnership Forum listed the benefits of subsidy and full deregulation of the oil and gas sector.
Among other benefits, Sylva said the policy if faithfully implemented would attract more investments into the Nigerian oil and gas industry and help the country raise its 260tcf of gas to over 600tcf over the next 5-10 years.
In this interview on the sidelines of the investment forum, the minister reeled out what the country stands to gain in a fully commercialised and deregulated oil and gas market
The minister who was recently named head of the steering committee for the implementation of provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and its subsequent signing into law after more than 15 years of being in the works , remains a watershed moment for Nigeria.
According to the presidential statement on the appointment, “The primary responsibility of the steering committee would be to guide the effective and timely implementation of the PIA in the course of transition to the petroleum industry envisaged in the reform programme and ensure that the new institutions created have the full capability to deliver on their mandate under the new legislation,”
The minister explained how the PIA and other government initiatives are helping Nigeria to attract more foreign investors into the oil and gas sector. He emphasised that the removal of subsidy in the oil and gas industry would help Nigeria expand its production capacity, create jobs as well as give impetus to more foreign direct investments, bolster the country’s race towards cleaner energy and climate change compliance among other benefits. (Sun)