20 February 2013

Nigeria: PIB Has Lost Momentum, Says Lagos Chamber of Commerce

Lagos — The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said yesterday that consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly has lost momentum.

The President of the LCCI, Goodie Ibru, said though the PIB offers the framework to overhaul the petroleum industry for optimal value for the Nigerian economy, the process of passing the bill is being obstructed.

He said, "We urge the National Assembly to accelerate the process of considering the bill in the larger interest of the Nigerian economy and its people. The economy is well positioned to leverage on an efficient and competitive oil and gas sector to achieve the much desired transformation.

"We need to unlock the huge potentials for job creation, backward integration, robust investments in refineries, investments in distribution and marketing of petroleum products, development of petrochemical industries and numerous multiplier effects that would be generated for the economy."

He said the passage of the bill would be a huge savings in foreign exchange that would result from self sufficiency in petroleum products production as investments in refineries become attractive to investors.

He said: "Resources currently being committed to importation of petroleum products are horrendous and clearly not sustainable. But as long as we perpetuate the status quo, the economy would remain vulnerable.

"It is critical as well to salvage the economy from the cavity of corruption which currently plagues the sector and poses a profound systemic risk to the entire economy."

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