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Present Version of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will “Upset” Nigerians – Experts

By on May 30, 2012

Analysts that have consulted the Federal Government on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) disclosed that the legislation will favour the oil companies more than it would Nigerians.

Pedro van Meurs, an oil and gas consultant who advised government on the PIB told Reuters, “I expect the petroleum industry to be happy. I expect many Nigerians to be upset.”

He added, “Transparency provisions related to corporate income tax, hydrocarbon tax and production sharing were deleted. This should be a source of concern.”

The Bill does not require disclosure of oil sales, of other taxes like income and hydrocarbon tax, nor of payments to the government, including signature bonuses. Exactly the type of loopholes that allowed the current N 155 billion oil block scam rocking the Presidency to go through unchecked.

“Passage of any piece of legislation brings a level of certainty to the industry that has been absent for years,” said Gordon Bottomley, Nigeria analyst at Ergo, a New York-based advisory firm that has been closely tracking the PIB.

“(But) the re-organisation of … Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is going to be far from painless. And this bill, in terms of transparency, appears less than desirable.”