Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Sen Taye Alasoadura has proposed that oil producing organisations should contribute a certain percentage of its budget as statutory funding to PTDF.
Speaking during the 1st PTDF Oil Exploration Production Companies Summit yesterday, Alasoadura stated compelling the oil producing organisations to do such, will help the Fund in its effort to ensure that thousands of Nigerians are trained in all aspects of oil and gas industry.
He lamented that the lack of funds has limited the PTDF in handling it’s responsibilities, pushing it into scaling down many of its operations.
“Legislators are thinking that we may pass the law to ask respective oil producing organisation to contribute a certain percentage of its budget as statutory to PTDF. What we have is voluntary. We want to make it compulsory that such money be remitted to PTDF.
“Over the years, the PTDF money from the reserve account from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have not been made available to it as at when due. From the record I have come across, most of their funds have not been remitted to them. It has lead to huge liability to the Fund in the cost of handling its responsibility which had led to scaling down of its operations . Building human capacity is something you must put money into and ensure that such money are put into th use,” he said.
In his opening remark, the minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu, commended the Fund over its responsibility as it has trained over 4000 graduates and post graduates scholars in the best institutions over the world and they have continue to serve the industry in various capacity.
The minister who was represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Jamila Shu’ara added that the summit is a strategic approach to collaborate with industry players in the oil and gas sector on the need for a more sustainable way of funding.
“As we move to a phase of global challenges in the oil sector, we will have to do more to re-invent our strategies for the collective good of our country. This is why the summit is a strategic approach to collaborate with industry players in the oil and gas in the need for a more sustainable way of funding and other activities as contemporary development in the global market substantially really affected exploration and investment,” he said.
Also speaking, the acting Executive Secretary of PTDF, Ahmed Aminu spoke of the nee for collaboration between PTDF and oil and gas companies to help in capacity building for according to him, generosity to the Fund is generosity to Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker has said the ongoing tensions in the restive Niger Delta region, the country’s oil hub, is hugely responsible the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which aims at reforming the country’s petroleum industry.
The delay is the latest setback caused by militants in the Delta region, whose actions have prevented more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) in oil production due to anger at the way the nation’s energy resources are split.
The petroleum industry bill (PIB) covering everything from an overhaul of state oil company NNPC to taxes on upstream projects, has been stuck in the National Assembly for a decade, but President Muhammadu Buhari has made passing it a key part of his reform of a sector hit by corruption at NNPC.
“We have to hold it because of all the problems in the Niger Delta,” Senator Tayo Alasoadura, chairman of the committee on petroleum resources, said of bill. “As soon as things improve, then it will come to the front of the line again.”