Andy Esiet, Calabar
The member representing Cross River South Senatorial District, Mr. Gershom Bassey has advocated for a strong and all inclusive national planning before budgeting.
In phone chat, Bassey said for quite sometime not all the sectors have been involved in national planning before the budget is made and this does not augur well for the economy.
He said, “some of us have been advocating for a strong role for all inclusive national planning before budgeting” and it is hoped that in subsequent budgets issue of of an all inclusive planning will be taken care of.
Bassey stated that “in most newly industrialised countries the ministry of national planning is the most important portfolio.
” So with full collaboration of the legislature playing its constitutional role, I think if this kind of prominence is given to national planning then all ur questions will be answered” .
On the Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA), he said “its a major milestone for Nigeria but it is not perfect . As it comes into use there will be amendments here and there . So it’s a living document…the PIB as passed encourages more inflows into the country through the Oil & Gas sector. These types of inflows in exploration and production are things that will benefit us in the south because for the past 15 years, there has been minimal investment in the oil and gas industry.
“There has only been one bid round and the bid round was not very successful, and we have had bid rounds in the marginal fields, which has not been realizable and these are all directly attributable to an unpredictable oil and gas environment. What the PIB does is to bring predictability to the oil and gas environment and with predictability comes investments. So ultimately, it may not be a perfect bill, and I don’t think it’s a perfect bill but it is a bill that we can work with to ensure that there’s investments in the oil and gas industry”.
He stated that “in some countries, just by signing off on bill, you see huge amounts 100 billion dollars, 200 billion dollars, worth of investments coming in to that country just by signing off on a PIB bill. I am sure we can have huge investments in the country as a result of the predictability we have brought to the oil and gas industry.