The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has pledged commitment to the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).Baru, who spoke yesterday in Abuja, said the corporation would do everything possible to ensure that the lawmakers avoid making mistakes in the bill.He added that it would give considerable time and efforts to the issue, in the interest of the nation.According to him, the group is specifically interested in the aspect of the bill that is directly linked to fiscal terms, because of the level of investment it could attract.
The NNPC chief spoke at a consultative meeting with consultants to the National Assembly.The lead consultant and former Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Osteen Olorunsola, led his team to the meeting.
Baru challenged the consultants to take a comprehensive look at the issues in the oil and gas sector, and make bold recommendations that could engender enduring reforms.
He said with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, which deals with the governance structure of the industry by the National Assembly, the remaining two segments of fiscal terms and host communities would require extensive consultation.
This, he, said was necessary to aggregate views and opinions of industry stakeholders to strike a balance that could attract investments.It would also ensure a decent government-take in terms of oil and gas revenue.On the fiscal terms, Baru said the major complaint by operators in the industry was that of multiple taxations.
He explained that these include statutory contributions to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), as well as sundry expenses on security.
He said: “We have to be able to design a system that works. If the three per cent, 13 per cent or any other statutory allocation for development is not working, then we should not be afraid to recommend a percentage that could work.“This would replace the present system, where operators pay multiple taxes and yet pay much more extra to secure their investments.”