The impasse in the federal legislature has not been helped by the obtuse racketeering by various stakeholders including the NNPC, the international oil companies, IOCs, and even the organised labour organisations.
Experts believe that the long delay in the passage of the bill has blocked billions of dollars worth of investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. For instance, the Royal Dutch Shell said it put aside $40 billion worth of potential investment in deepwater oil projects on hold as it awaits the outcome of the bill. Other oil majors like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Texaco, ENI and Total, all consolidated their positions by frowning at some provisions in the PIB.
A former Regional Executive Vice President of Shell Exploration and Production, Africa, Ms. Ann Pickard, had lamented the “failure to recognise that we all benefit from taking a fair share of a growing industry rather than an excessive share of a declining one; an unwillingness by some to stand up and take decisions.”
President Jonathan, obviously bothered by the protracted delay in the passage of the PIB, was effusive with thanks to Saudi Arabia, India, Italy and the USA, noting that, “Your decision to invest in Nigeria is a testament of the confidence you have both in our vision and our resources.
“I assure you that as you have taken the bold step to invest, even when many things hinge on passage of the PIB; government will support you every step of the way to ensure that this is delivered successfully. Your commitment will serve as a challenge to other investors elsewhere, letting them know that Nigeria is indeed open for business.”
In the area of housing, the Jonathan’s government has opened up channel of communication with professionals in the built industry with a view to partnering to reduce the infrastructural gap in the country. President Goodluck Jonathan said this in Abuja while declaring open the 42th annual conference of Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).
President said that the present administration would collaborate with the institution, adding that its role in providing the skills and technical knowhow needed for a nation’s development has made NIESV an institution of reckoning in the country. He said the institution has strategic role to play in his transformation agenda in the housing delivery sector.
He said, “the Federal Government wants to charge NIESV to do more in the area of land reform and administration, housing and infrastructural development. We want to collaborate with NIESV to play a significant role such that every Nigerian can one day lay claim to one plot of land.’’
Speaking at the event, the President of NIESV, Mr Bode Adediji said that the theme of the conference which is “Transformation of Nigeria through the Built Environment”, was carefully chosen in-line with the current administration’s transformation agenda He stressed that the current administration had shown commitment to move the country forward by putting round pegs in the round holes through the involvement of professionals in all sector of the economy.