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PIA will strengthen Naira, reduce budget deficit – PwC

The 2021 Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will facilitate Nigeria’s economic development by attracting and creating investment opportunities for local and international investors, according to Mr. Uyi Akpata, country senior partner, PwC Nigeria.

Akpata, who made this known in his opening remarks during an exclusive session with business leaders, said the long-awaited legislation which is “one of the most audacious attempts to overhaul the petroleum sector in Nigeria will transform the legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal landscape with far-reaching implications for all.”

The Act, he added, will drastically redefine the Nigerian oil and gas landscape through its wide-ranging impact on various fundamental aspects of the economy including energy, banking, and insurance, among others.

In his presentation of insights from a survey of business executives in the country, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, PwC’s fiscal policy partner, said expected economic implications include improvements in corporate governance of the NNPC, scope for improved monetary and fiscal policies, as well as minimisation of hostility and insecurity. He stated: ‘‘If diligently implemented, the PIA will attract investment, improve foreign exchange earnings and help stablise the local currency.

‘‘In addition, more investment in the sector will increase government revenue and tax collection thereby reducing the need for government borrowing.

‘‘Possible impact on citizens’ living standards will cut across human capital development, transportation costs as well as energy security.’’

The high level business session which attracted many c-suite executives, revealed that over 96 percent of the business executives polled approve of the PIA.

The top three changes that most excite them in the new law are: a commercial and profit focused NNPC; full deregulation of the downstream sector & removal of subsidy; and the creation of a regulatory commission and authority for the industry.

It will be recalled that the PIA, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 16 this year, is the culmination of a process which started under President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000 with the establishment of the Oil and Gas Implementation Committee (OGIC). The Act seeks to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.

Its 319 sections and eight schedules are encapsulated in five chapters covering governance and institutions, administration, host communities development, petroleum industry fiscal framework and miscellaneous provisions.

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