“The Petroleum Industry Bill is going to lay out the fiscal terms for prospecting for oil, what you’re going to be charged in terms of royalties, taxes and levies. Every investor wants to know what that is upfront before they make an investment,” Ronke Onadeko, a consultant for the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency in Nigeria (FOSTER), told ABN digital on Wednesday.
“It’s been on and off for 12 years and we still have not passed it as a law. While we’re making up our minds on what to do, Ghana, East Africa, Angola is moving ahead.”
The fundamental objectives of the Petroleum Industry Bill include the vesting of petroleum and natural gas, the allocation of acreage, government participation, preservation of the environment and air quality emissions, community development and the promoting of indigenous companies.
Onadeko highlighted the West African country’s serious need for policy progress and energy expansion at the Infrastructure Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The space in which Africa is right now is quite critical. In Nigeria we’re producing less than 3,000 megawatts of power for a country that needs about 50,000. The demand for electricity, for power, for ICT, especially among the youths in the country is high,” she said.
Despite policy hindrances though, Onadeko still believes in the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
“Nigeria is growing at close to seven per cent per annum at the moment, which is phenomenal considering that there is no power. Now that the government has divested from the power sector we’re hoping that that’s really going to push economic growth. The industry is currently very active but we need to sort out policy.”