Posted by News Express | 16 October 2016 | 2,318 times
Senate President Bukola Saraki, on Saturday, reassured that the first part of the much awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed before end of this year, nine years after it was first introduced.
He was responding to a tweet urging him to use his good office to pass the bill and ensure that substantial progress is made in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
We “will do everything possible to make that a reality. I expect that before the end of this year, first part of PIB will be passed,” he tweeted.
Saraki, earlier, reiterated on Friday that the Senate had listed 11 Bills that will be expedited to guide Nigeria out of its lingering economic recession.
The nation’s upper legislative chamber had recently agreed to break the PIB into parts that would be passed in piece meal, rather than allow efforts put into the entire law go to waste if discarded because of disagreements over some contentious portions.
As a result of the disagreement, the bill, first put before the National Assembly has gone back and forth, since 2007.
The idea of the PIB, according to the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), “followed the recommendations of a Presidential Committee set up to carry out oil and gas sector reforms in Nigeria.
“The reforms were expected to form the nucleus of Nigeria’s aspiration to become one of the most industrialised nations in the world by the year 2020. For the country to realise this tall dream, it was envisaged that the major source of revenue to the Federation account, (the oil and gas sector) must be re-positioned for greater efficiency, openness, and competition built on corporate governance as obtained in other resource-rich nations.
“The proposed legislation was therefore designed to strengthen the capacity of indigenous Nigerian companies in the oil and gas sector to compete with international oil companies in the search and acquisition of hydrocarbons in Nigeria.
“The measure was also intended to reduce exploitation in the sector and limit, to the barest minimum, Federal Government’s exposure to oil and gas exploration and production through joint venture operations.”
The bill was expected to encourage privatisation and commercialisation in a manner that retains government interest only as a shareholder, while investors in the joint venture arrangement are to enjoy the freedom to source funds independently for their operations, thereby removing the burden from government’s annual budget.
“To make this happen, the PIB is expected to provide for the establishment of an independent regulator, an energy council, a national petroleum directorate, an inspectorate commission and a national petroleum company that will be open and ready to embrace competition, professionalism and good business ethics in its operations.”
The new law was expected to lay the foundation by producing a dynamic policy framework for massive reforms in the oil and gas industry. (Independent)
•Photo shows Senate President Bukola Saraki.
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