Former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, cannot address all the challenges in the oil sector.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Nairobi, Mrs Omoigui-Okauru said that passing the PIB would not mean an end to all issues in the oil sector.
Mrs Omoigui-Okauru who was a panelist at sessions of the just concluded Pan African Conference on curbing Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, IFFs, however acknowledged that the bill would go a long way in addressing the problem.
At the conference, it was established that Africa loses over $50 billion from activities of multinationals companies who engage in illicit activities especially in the extractive industry.
Speaking on the PIB, the former FIRS boss said that she was aware that a lot of work was put in developing the draft bill but stressed that there was law that could be perfect.
She commended the ongoing passage of the bill in bits saying that it was important to keep moving on rather than waiting for when all sections of the bill would be passed.
“I know that from all the work that went into it while I was there and all the work that went into it after I left; the intension is to address issues.
“But there is no law that will be perfect. The first rule of reform is to keep going: this means that you may need to discard things that are right for now and get consensus on the few that everybody gets consensus on.
“That way you can make progress, and then you come round again and carry more people. You just have to keep going.
“If we stay stuck because we want a perfect law, we know that for the next 20 years there will be no law. So I believe that whatever law will be passed will make us move on.
“Then another set of legislators will come and improve on it but we need to at least pass the law so that we give clarity and certainty to the oil sector as to what exactly is our law,” she said.
The former tax office boss said if the PIB keeps being delayed further then it would continue to discourage investors because they would be unsure what law to follow.
“When you keep things hanging in the balance, you are not encouraging investors to come in as they don’t know really what law you operate,” she said.