The Federal Government says while oil prices are on the rise, Nigeria is not reaping the full benefits of the current windfall because of years of neglect of the oil industry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the explanation at a media briefing on Monday in Abuja
He said while oil-producing countries “are today smiling to the bank as oil prices are on the rise’’ Nigeria is not, because the previous administration failed to stimulate growth in the oil sector for many years.
The minister specifically fingered the 16-year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he said failed to put in place the Petroleum Industry Law.
“Better late than never, they say. President Muhammadu Buhari last year signed into law the Petroleum Industry Bill, now the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
“The PIA is envisaged to foster investment in the industry and delineate responsibilities to the various institutions.
“This is a monumental achievement in the critical oil and gas sector,’’ he said
The minister said with the PIA in place, new businesses were already springing up in the sector.
He also commended the Buhari administration for providing conducive environment for businesses to thrive in all sectors.
“Under this administration, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has implemented over 150 reforms, moving Nigeria up 39 places on the World Bank Doing Business index since 2016.
“Mr President also signed the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA 2020) – Nigeria’s most significant business legislation in three decades.
”The result of this favourable business environment is the birth of new businesses such as the 2.5 billion U.S dollars Dangote Fertiliser Plant that will produce 3 million metric tonnes of Urea every year.
“We also have the 650,000 barrels per day oil refinery due to open later this year and the Lekki Deep Sea Port, one of the most modern sea ports in West Africa,’’ he said.
Mohammed added that the conducive business environment created was responsible for the BUA’s 3 million metric tonnes cement plant; and the 5,000 barrels per day Modular Refinery in Ibigwe, in Imo.
He disclosed that three more modular refineries would be commissioned before May 2023 in Edo and Bayelsa.