Between the long public holiday weekend and work commitments, we have not been able to post as frequently as we should have done. We apologise for that and will remedy that this week.
Click here for the newly published summary of Part V of the PIB, which deals with downstream petroleum (including domestic gas utilisation). We are also finalising the promised critique of the NNPC reforms and expect to have that published by Friday 24th August. Have a good week.
Read the views of Prof. Assisi Assobie, former Chairman of the stakeholders working group of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on corruption and the Petroleum Industry Bill as reported in The Guardian newspaper here. The report is quite short but emphasises what has been commented on by others on the extensive powers granted to the Minister in the PIB.
Feature Article by Humphrey Onyeukwu[i]
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is lauded to be the single most important legislation in Nigeria given our mono-economic set-up, however ridden with various mutations from the original intervention of the Oil and Gas Implementation Committee (OGIC) inaugurated by the Obasanjo administration in April 2000.
Several versions of the PIB materialized as an outcome and greatly skewed the many efforts in producing a bill that would fundamentally reform an industry lacking significant changes in administration and regulation. Discordant tunes emerged from the various stakeholders, each with self-confessed belief on how the reform agenda would have been carried out. The International Oil Companies, indigenous operators, international independents, regulators and even the minister alike joined in a macabre dance of what a PIB should be and what it should not be.
A sigh of relief may have seemingly arrived with the recent transmission of the bill to the seventh National Assembly. The Special Task Force for Implementation of the PIB, brainchild of the Federal Government’s concerted efforts to deliver on its promise to the nation in aftermath of the subsidy protests, submitted their finished product, a new Petroleum Industry Bill.
The new PIB, without doubt, has agitated the déjà vu trailing previous attempts. Questions answered and unanswered: Is it the much-needed cure to revive an ailing Nigeria’s oil industry? Would this be another stillbirth or is the stage finally set for culmination of the sector reforms. Who is really afraid of the Petroleum Industry Bill?
Continue reading “Who is really afraid of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Bill?”
The Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) of the House of Representatives today announced its Downstream Stakeholders Forum. The theme is “The Downstream Regime in the Petroleum Industry Bill: Stakeholder’s Perspective”. This is a by invitation only event and will hold on the 2nd of October. This forum is different from the public hearings that will be held by the committee after the second hearing of the PIB. Details of the forum and the relevant contacts can be found here.
Having started the week on a fiscal theme, with the conclusion to Dr. Omonbude’s tongue in cheek analysis and the link to KPMG’s fiscal article, we’ll continue with a feature article from Humphrey Onyeukwu, a Lagos lawyer and President of the Lagos Oil Club. This article will be published mid-week. We’ll also publish the Summary of Part V of the Petroleum Industry Bill (Downstream Petroleum) and end the week with our critical analysis of the proposed NNPC restructuring. Hint: we don’t like it.
Remember If you would like answers to any questions about the Petroleum Industry Bill, send an email to: questions[at]petroleumindustrybill.com. If we can’t answer your question, we’ll find someone who can! Have a good week.
Continuing with our fiscal theme, here’s the link to KPMG’s recently published article titled Petroleum Industry Bill 2012: Highlights of the Fiscal Provisions.The article highlights critical provisions of the Petroleum Industry Bill and concludes by stating that its provisions are likely to lead to an increase in the effective tax rate of many companies. It also opines that the current provisions of the PIB are unlikely to optimise domestic gas supplies as the fiscal incentives for upstream gas development under the PIB are less attractive than available under the Petroleum Profits Tax regime. The article may be found here.
This part concludes Dr Omonbude’s feature article on the fiscal provisions of the PIB
In the previous part of my note, I introduced and discussed two major features of the fiscal elements in the PIB. The aim of this exercise was to investigate these provisions in the context of how they had been presented within the Bill, and to set the ground for some of the analysis that would follow in this second part. The aim of this part of my note is to consider the other two big-ticket fiscal instruments as far as the Bill is concerned (namely the Nigerian Hydrocarbon Tax and the Companies Income Tax), and to then carry out a simplified analysis of these instruments. Continue reading “Fiscal Provisions of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill: A not so quick-and-dirty assessment, Part II”
Feature Article by Dr. Ekpen J. Omonbude
After what can be described as a very, very long wait, the Nigerian Government has forwarded the Petroleum Industry Bill (‘PIB’ or ‘the Bill’) to the National Assembly. This follows a series of drafts, disputes and revisions as the Government, the international oil companies (‘IOCs’), and the legislature failed numerous times to agree on previous versions.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources (‘the Ministry’) describes the PIB as potentially “one of the most important pieces of legislation in the history of the oil industry in Nigeria, changing everything from fiscal terms to the make-up of the state-oil firm”. It is clearly an ambitious document, one which in our assessment could change, fairly significantly, the way in which the oil and gas business is conducted in Nigeria if passed into law as-is.
The industry has greeted the PIB with mixed reactions. For some upstream E&P players, it does not appear that there is satisfaction with the fiscal terms as stated in the Bill. For others, there appears to be a certain degree of confusion as to what would apply when, and how. International organisations appear to have taken a position of quiet optimism for now.
At over 220 pages, the PIB is a daunting read for most non-lawyers. It does however try to simplify what is currently a difficult petroleum legislative and regulatory framework to explain to the untrained eye (lawyer’s paradise, anyone?). Highlights of such attempts at simplicity are the apparent amalgamation of the relevant petroleum sector laws into one piece, and a reduction of the points of fiscal burden to a handful of fiscal instruments. The Bill in fact defines fiscal rent as “the aggregation of royalty, Nigerian Hydrocarbon Tax and Companies Income Tax obligations arising from upstream petroleum operations”. This simplicity may not however translate to reduced fiscal burden. In my view at least three separate pieces of legislation could have been submitted to the National Assembly, rather than one, but this is not the purpose of this particular exercise. Continue reading “Fiscal Provisions of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill: A not so quick-and-dirty assessment, Part I”
Joe Brock of Reuters highlights some of the tensions between the National Assembly and the Executive over the passage of the PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL 2012. One of the issues raised in the article is the extent of discretionary power granted to the minister of petroleum under the Bill.