Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has said that the absence of a stable fiscal environment is inhibiting the growth of the oil industry, especially the upstream sector.
Kyari stated this while receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) who were on an oversight visit to the corporation recently.
He said international investors were losing confidence in the nation’s oil and gas industry and tasked the lawmakers to act fast and arrest the situation.
“We need to act quickly to move from this unstable situation to a very stable one and the only way is for us to get the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to work so that countries and investors can work with us,” Kyari said.
The GMD, who also revealed that foreign capital was needed in the upstream sector, said the only way to attract it was to have stable laws and a friendly business environment that could guarantee cost recovery and a decent return on investment for investors.
He disclosed that the uncertainty in the sector created by the long delay in the passage of the PIB has led to a number of divestments from the country in the recent past.
The GMD also stated that the drive by the management of NNPC to entrench the culture of transparency in the Corporation has improved its business fortune and creditworthiness, as lenders are now willing to grant credit to it.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Musa Sarki Adar, expressed the readiness of his committee to provide necessary support for the Corporation to discharge its duties.
He acknowledged the Corporation’s efforts at deepening transparency and accountability, stressing that the Committee was impressed with the level of professionalism exhibited by the NNPC Management and the leadership role played by the GMD in rallying the oil and gas industry to provide support for the Federal Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a presentation, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Engr. Mansur Sambo, said the company has increased its gas production to 860mmscf/d and is now the largest supplier of gas to the domestic market.