President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to follow the directive of the All Progressives Congress (APC) transition committee, which has advised the President to jettison the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s propsed version of running the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The committee proposed that instead, Dr. Rilwan Lukman’s version should be passed into law by the National Assembly.
This gives Nigeria over 90% of its forex earnings as well as over 605 of national spending.
It is believed that the procrastination in accenting to the bill have created uncertainty in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry.
This has backfired into loss of over $80 billion in fresh investments, with investors unsure of the regulatory, political and economic conditions under which they will operate.
Most of these investments have been lost to countries such as Ghana, South Africa and Angola which has enjoyed political stability in the last decade.
Dr. Rilwan Lukman is a former Minister of Petroleum Resources under President Umaru Yar’Adua from December 2008 to March 2010.
However he did not originate the bill.
He was also special adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo when the first draft of the bill was prepared but was not sent to the National Assembly untill Obasanjo left office.
Several versions of the bill have been sent to the NASS under Lukman’s watch as various interests struggled to tamper with it to maximise their benefits.
However, following the exit of Lukman, the various versions by Diezani Alison-Madueke, Lukman’s sucessor in the ministry were reviewed.
The reasons for the adoption of Lukman’s proposal are not quite clear, as there were no significant changes in the contentious areas, such as the fiscal regime which the International Oil Companies considered to be unfavourable.
The Lukman version provided 10% equity to oil host communities while Diezani’s version provided for 7.5% and was passed by the house of representatives.
The term “host” in the bill was also extended to cover all communities that pipelines pass through, not just where exploration is being made.
The powers to award oil licenses at discretion which were granted to the minister of petroleum resources under Lukman’s version were retained in Diezani’s version.
The House of Representatives removed the provision.
A committee chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo is currently reviewing the recommendations made by the Joda led Transition Committee.