In other to encourage the IOCS from operating well in the country, the Federal Government is planning a downward review of the tariffs International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other investors operating in the oil and gas zones pay to its coffers.
The idea is to ensure that oil majors such as Exxonmobil, Shell, Adax, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NOAC), Total, Chevron and their local counterparts, get some respite and further operate well.
It was gathered that the plan to review the tariffs paid by the local and foreign investors in the zones, have reached an advanced stage and may come to an end as soon as other stakeholders provide their inputs on the issue.
A source, who does not want to be mentioned, said the review would be holistic because it would mark a clear departure from the past, where some investors were involved in the process of providing the tariffs for the zones, while many were left out.
The source said investors would pay less in importing oil and gas machineries/ equipment when the exercise is completed.
Oil and Gas Free Trade Zones (OGFTA)’s Managing Director, Dr Umana Okon Umana, gave credence to this assertion when he said multinational oil companies, the OGFA, National Petroleum Investments Management Services (NAPIMS) and other licencees are going back to the drawing board, with a view to provide a new tariffs structure that would take care of operators’ interest in the zones.
Umana, who spoke during interaction with investors in Onne, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said the need to cushion the effects of the harsh economy on the investors and further make them improve their productivity, informed the decision to reduce the tariffs.
He said the plans to review the tariffs downward followed protests by some licensees on the issue, adding that the licensees have kicked against the implementation of the current tariffs regime in the Industry, known as Wide Standard Tariffs (IWST).
However, efforts to speak to the Head, Legal Department OGFTA, Mr Wasiu Sule, whose department is charged with the responsibility of handling the exercise proved abortive as text message sent to him was not replied.
( THE NATION)