After waiting in vain for a Petroleum Industry Bill from the Presidency, the National Assembly has passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).
The House of Representatives Wednesday passed the same version as the Senate, placing the onus on President Muhammadu Buhari to now sign into law.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, sign it into law.
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has promptly commended the House of Representatives for the passage.
Dogara said the new legislation will be transmitted to the President within the next few days and explained that the parliament had to move on and pass its own version of the Bill following failure of the Executive to present a draft bill to the National Assembly.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, Speaker Dogara, described the passage of the PIGB, as historic and landmark achievement by the 8th National Assembly after it was first introduced to the parliament by late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua in 2008.
Speaker Dogara argued that with the passage of the long-awaited bill, the Petroleum Industry will witness drastic improvement as it will attract investors and open up the sector as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would be unbundled with the creation of other bodies.
The Speaker, however, noted that work will still continue on other aspects of the petroleum industry by the National Assembly in accordance with the 8th Assembly’s Legislative Agenda.
CISLAC applauded the passage, because the development will promote transparency, accountability and governance, as well as curtail monumental financial losses in our nation’s oil and gas sector.
It said further in its statement: “We are not unaware that the passage, which aimed primarily at the restructuring and reformation of the nation’s oil and gas sector has set the pace unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to establishing independence agency for effective operationalization and regulation of the sector and merger of its subsidiaries into an entity for appropriate supervision and coordination.
“We recall that both the House and the Senate passed the PIGB for a second reading in June 2017 after which the leadership of the House set up the ad hoc committee headed by Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Al-hassan Ado Doguwa, to conduct Public Hearing for stakeholders’ inputs to fine tune the bill.
“Considering other outstanding Bills that are paramount to the existence and composition of PIGB such as those related to the host communities and fiscal issues in the sector that have passed through second reading in the House, we call for sustain efforts and commitments to fast-track their passage.
“We understand that with this development, the PIGB has approached a stage awaiting consideration for appropriate harmonisation with that of the Senate to sail the adopted version for Presidential assent.
“We call on both Chambers of the National Assembly to hold a Joint Session to accelerate the harmonisation process of the two versions passed for timely Presidential assent.”