- Importing Petroleum Products Enriches Nigerian Elite & Impoverish the Masses.
- Nigeria Still Uses Mediocre and out-of-sync Laws On Petroleum (Petroleum Act 1969 & Petroleum Profit Tax Act, 1958)
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said some rich Nigerians has continued to support oil importation as a means to enrich themselves regardless of the plight of the impoverished masses.
This he stated, is the reason why Nigeria has depended heavily in oil importation despite being one of the largest oil producing countries in the world.
During the National Stakeholders Summit on Petroleum Industry Reforms organised by the House Committee on Petroleum in Abuja, Monday, July 18, Dogara reiterated the fact that Nigeria is lacking in capacity to maximize its oil and gas so as to attract more revenue from the sector.
“Nigeria is one of the richest petroleum regions of the world. Paradoxically, it has never been able to maximize effectively its immense oil and gas potentialities and the revenue accruing from it.
“The downstream operates in a state of almost continuous malfunction, and, for years, has been characterized by comatose refineries and an inefficient downstream.
“Nigeria is both one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil, and one of the world’s leading importers of petroleum products, a dependency that has enriched the elite at the expense of the increasingly impoverished masses.
“Decades after the advent of Nigeria’s petroleum industry, problems which led to host community agitation remain unaddressed and highly politicized, and the question of the extent to which revenues from the industry should be shared among the three tiers of government and the people remain, as do the content and limits of corporate social responsibility.
“These are all crucial issues that should be addressed to guarantee and ensure a stable polity in Nigeria.
“These examples represent just a few of the present problems of Nigeria’s petroleum industry, and are reflective of an industry that is in critical need of total restructuring, which can only be commenced through the enactment of laws that provide the legal framework that will promote the emergence of an optimal petroleum industry.
“The existing laws are outdated, anachronistic, and out-of-sync with international best practices and current technological advances for decades, with the primary laws being the Petroleum Act of 1969, and the Petroleum Profits Tax Act, 1958.”