By Tunde Shorunke
The Honourable Minister for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva has said the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) will be made available to the National Assembly in two weeks times
He disclosed this in an interview on a television platform on Sunday, where Sylva pointed out that PIB is expected to tackle setbacks facing oil & gas industry.
According to Sylva, “The PIB has been in process for over 20 years and I’m using this medium to tell you that we are ahead of it and we’re going to the National Assembly in the next two weeks.
“It is a good reform for the industry. for example a cost of production in Nigeria has been a challenge for us because we cannot continue to produce at $40 per barrel when the oil is sold at $30 per barrel.
“Definitely its shows that there’s a lot of things that needs to be done to curtail this, such like our production cost and some other cost in the industry,”
Speaking on the deregulation of Petrol otherwise called Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Sylva said, “We all know that petroleum are refined from crude oil, when crude oil prices comes down, petroleum prices comes down, when crude oil prices goes up, petroleum prices goes up.
“So, when we saw that opportunity that crude oil prices has come down, we felt that they should transfer that benefit to the average Nigerians and we’ve also discussed with the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) who are going to regulate the petroleum products and now that crude oil prices are going up, we believe that rises will also come to price of petroleum products,
“But with the regulatory agencies in the industry we believe a lot of investors will find it attractive to invest in that process.” Sylva added
Further speaking on the regulation of pump price, the Minister said, “I believe Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is empowered by law to sit with all other operators of the downstream sector in which different operators have their representatives;
“Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has their representatives, Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) have their representatives, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) have their representatives, among others coming together has a committee to determine price.
“Government has the tradition should be the regulator, we do not want private sector to just fix price for themselves and what we have also done in this vain is to engage all stakeholders.” he added