The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) just accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari will transform the nation’s petroleum industry into a hub of business opportunities, Mallam Mele Kyari, has said.
Kyari, who is the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), also said the Act will also attract huge capital globally into the country’s oil sector, strengthen cost recovery and ensure decent returns on investment.
He spoke as guest of honor at a Fireside chat organized by Persecondnews in Houston, Texas, on Thursday.
Shedding more light on the new petroleum law, Kyari, who has been in the forefront of transforming the oil and gas industry and contributed significantly to the new structure, said it is expected to promote good governance in the oil and gas sector in tandem with the international best practices.
Persecondnews recalls that Buhari had on August 16, 2021 assented to the PIB after it was stuck in the National Assembly for more than a decade.
“The passage of the PIB will also attract capital, strengthen cost recovery and ensure decent returns on investment,” Kyari told the audience.
On the transformational impact the new law will have on the nation’s oil and gas industry, Kyari said: “It will help us to have a very transparent, clearly competitive physical framework, where you get to see opportunities on where you can put your money and also get back your money with some benefits.
“It will also refocus on gas development in our country such that as we know gas is the new oil.
“For over 20 years, we have made attempt to change our petroleum negotiate so that we will be in line with expertise industry, which will lead to smarter opportunities. We have been very stagnant for over 24 years without any physical change.
“What happened in the last few days is simply a transformation of activities and transformation of the environment for doing business, making our country very competitive.”
Since he came on board in 2019 as NNPC helmsman, Kyari, who has focused in ensuring the passage of the very important legislation, has been a major advocate on the need for the lawmakers to pass the bill which he described as a “game-changer for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”
According to him, getting the petroleum legislation passed is the right thing to do because investors will not invest their money if they are not sure of how they are going to get their investment back, and what benefits they can get from their investment, as well as how stable the investment climate is.
The technocrat explained:“We are aware that the whole world is becoming a petroleum territory and no country will survive except you have a very competitive physical environment.
“What is logic to us is to bring us abound with the best of physical environment that is available in the world, bringing us to a place where also structure of regulation that is also in line with best practices in the world clearly separating the upstream from the midstream and downstream so that our focus can come back to the part of the industry that will surely be the hub.
“For our investors what this means is that there is clarity of our physical environment, there is also a very robust commercial framework, there is also a competitive physical framework.
“So the combination of these three to new investors and existing investors is that they can now take opportunity of the industry. Friendly business environment will guarantee cost recovery and a decent return on investment for investors.
“The combination of these is that NNPC will be the house of opportunities, expand our partnerships, and it will be a very big opportunity for new investors and the country. I think this is a very exciting moment for us as a country.”
Speaking on changes in the corporation’s assets after the PIA with regards to the incorporation of NNPC as a company under the Company Allied Matters Act (CAMA), the NNPC boss reiterated that all assets and liabilities of the NNPC will be transferred to the new company.
Persecondnews recently reported that with the presidential assent given the Petroleum Industry Bill, NNPC is to wind down as a state-run enterprise and transform into a private company in six months.
The report indicated that by its new status, NNPC will pay taxes and dividends to its shareholders like other companies.
“The bill clearly states that the corporation will be transformed into a CAMA company. The bill also made it clear that the assets and liabilities of NNPC will be transferred to the new company, while some toxic ones may be left for NNPC.
“What this means is that, this company will start paying taxes and royalties as any other companies, and also declare the debt with shareholders at the end of every year,” Kyari said.
Top dignitaries present at Persecondnews Fireside chat include a former Senator and board member of NNPC, Senator Magnus Abe; Board member of NNPC Mrs Lami Ahmed; GED Upstream and leader of the NNPC delegation to the OTC, Mr. Adokiye Tombomieye; GED Downstream, Engr. Adeyemi Adetunji, and former board member of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Senator Binta Garba.
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Others are, International consultant and Board member NNPC, Dr. Stephen Dike; GED Ventures & Business Development, Sir, Billy Okoye; MD Refinery, Mr. Ahmed Dikko; GGM GPAD, Dr. Kennie Obateru; Mrs Uzoma Emelife; Business- Auditor to GMD, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed.
Also present were, Hon. Miriam Onuoha; Vice& President, Nov Inc, Mr Jide Agunbiade, Hon. Henry Nwawuba representing Imo State; representative of American Petroleum Institute (API), Jones Miller, and President of Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), Florizelle Liser.