Pass PIB and remove subsidy – Don to FG
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, University of Ibadan, Professor Adeola Adenikinju yesterday asked the Federal Government to remove Petroleum subsidy and ensure passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Professor Adenikinju who made the call at the Oyo Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) 2015 Press Week lecture titled “Nigeria and the Oil Question: Balancing Our Development Path Nigeria Beyond Oil’’ declared that non –removal of subsidy was an effort of caring for the rich at the expense of the poor.
“Nigeria must pass the Petroleum Industry Bill. We must turn around the National Oil Company. Subsidy must go to salvage the downstream sector, so that our depots, pipelines are back.
“Nigeria will no longer need to develop on tankers for moving of petroleum products across the country. Our fate will no longer be in the hands of Oliver Twist petroleum traders. We would no longer continue to take care of the rich at the expense of the poor,’’ he said.
The Don stressed that the time has come for Nigeria to vertically and horizontally diversify in order to optimally manage the economy, saying, diversification had been fore front policy objective of successive
government since 1970s.
Speaking further, Professor Adenikinju identified the failure to pass the PIB and the present uncertainty in the global oil market as negatively affecting new exploration efforts.
Lamenting that Nigeria ranked among the largest oil producing countries in the world spanning up till 50 years and gas for 100 years, he said the petroleum sector would still continue to be relevant in decades to come and that the problem was not diversification but how the country managed its oil.
“Many countries like Saudi Arabia, Norway, UAE, Malaysia, Canada, Kuwait and Trinidad and Tobago have used oil successfully to transform their economy. Since 1960, Nigeria has earned over 12.9trillion dollars from oil,’’.
He then maintained that Nigeria “must make oil land owners partake in oil profit, integrate oil sector with the rest of the economy, must not allow foreigners to dominate the oil sector, protect oil producing environment, adding that Nigeria must embrace the principles of transparency, accountability, openness and efficiency in the management of oil revenue.
While advocating the use of natural gas in powering than flaring, he said natural gas could effectively drive industrialisation, saying, “petroleum ought to be a blessing with high profits to enhance economic development. Oil came with its own diseases but the nation failed to prevent the diseases,’’.