The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva has assured that no job will be lost in the nation’s petroleum sector following the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday signed the bill, thus providing a legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.
Although there were fears in some quarters over the fate of workers in the petroleum sector, the minister says the move will instead create more jobs.
“We have already made provisions in the law to ensure that no job is lost in the oil industry as a result of the PIA,” the Minister said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.
“So, no job will be lost as a result of the Petroleum Industry Act. All jobs in the petroleum industry will be intact.
“That was already taken into account, we discussed with labour extensively in the process of drafting the bill.”
When asked about the benefits for the oil workers, the Minister said he believes the workers have more to gain since the government does not pay as much as the private sector.
While noting that the commercialisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be beneficial to the workers, Sylva explained that the move would not create any problem at all.
The Minister also reacted to funds accruable to the federation account by the national firm, noting that money will still be disbursed to the national account.
He, however, explained that NNPC will not be in charge of the federation crude, explaining that the Offstream Regulatory Commission will sell the crude and remit the money to the nation’s account.
Two days after the bill was signed, the President approved a committee to immediately commence the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The steering committee, which has 12 months for the assignment, is headed by the former Bayelsa State leader.