The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, on Monday, in Abuja declared that the days of crude oil as a driver of global economy, are numbered.
He made the statement while briefing the leadership of the National Assembly on the need for speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB), forwarded to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, two weeks ago by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sylva said having wasted 20 years in putting in place required laws for regulation of the oil industry, the country needed to quickly pass the PIB to make the best of investments from the sector before 2040.
According to him, there was a forecast that there would be 50 per cent loss of relevance of crude oil in the global market.
“It is quite unfortunate that since year 2000 when attempts were made to come up with draft copy of PIB, to 2007, 2009 and 2012 when draft bills were submitted to different sessions of the National Assembly by the executive arm of government without passage, up till 2018 when the legislators came up with one; that we are yet to put on ground required laws for effective regulation of the oil industry.
“Twenty years have been wasted in putting the laws in place for a sector that has 20 more years of full relevance going by forecasts already made.
“Forecasts in oil industry circles indicate that oil will play less and less role in the global economy.
“Specifically, by 2040, which is 20 years away, the relevance of oil in the global economy will reduce by 50%” he said.
According to him, the PIB as drafted and passed to both Chambers of the National Assembly, if expeditiously considered and passed, will serve as the foundation of investments.
He added that one of the central aims of the bill, is to make Nigeria an attractive investment destination.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said though, the PIB seemed to be jinxed since 2007 and 2019, but the fresh effort will surely see the light of the day.
“We want to break the jinx and we shall break it with the latest bill forwarded to us by the executive arm of government”, he said.
He, however, added that it is difficult to put a time frame on when the jinx would be broken through the passage of the bill because details of its contents must be understood and thoroughness applied in its consideration.