A minister-designate and Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachukwu has said that Nigeria was losing $15 billion (N3 trillion) annually due to non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, by the senate.
Kachukwu also informed that the fuel subsidy would be removed by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration after it must have put every necessary palliative measures in place.
He said, “We lose over $15 billion a year as a result of non-existence of petroleum industry law; so, I will urge this senate to pass those elements of PIB where there are no much contentions.
“However, I will not be constrained by lack of PIB, so we will continue to make changes using existing laws. So, whether the PIB is passed lies with the legislature, not the executive,’’ he said.
According to him, the petroleum industry would perform better if the bill was passed, adding however, that absence of the proposed law would not hinder operations in the industry or proposed reforms and restructurings in the sector.
Kachikwu noted that the problem with the bill was not the version, saying, ‘’so, I would not be interested in creating a new version, but just make changes to what is available.
“We may need to break it down. For instance, why do we have to have a fiscal regime in the PIB rather than leaving them to tax laws so that it can move according to the market forces?”, he asked rhetorically.
Kachikwu said that the prices of crude since the introduction of PIB had changed and that meant that the bill would be reviewed in line with the changes and fluctuations.
He expressed optimism that with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, the oil sector and NNPC would be restructured to minimise the cost of operation.
According to him, “NNPC spends more than the annual budgets of five Nigerian states and that is why we need to address the issues.
“That is why we have downsized and restructured the leadership but the problem is not just the leadership but the staff and the subsidiaries. We will start looking at the subsidiaries from next week”, he said.
The NNPC boss clarified that contracts cancelled were to ensure that they served the best interest of the Nigerian people, adding that revoked contracts were the suspicious ones.
He, however, maintained that non passage of the PIB would not hinder him from his performance as the NNPC boss by continuing to use other relevant laws to make changes in the oil sector.

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