ABUJA – The House of Representatives on Wednesday assured Nigerians and the international community of its commitment towards the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as well as assented to by the President, before the end of March, 2021.
This revelation was made known by the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Hon. Mohammed Monguno who gave this assurance in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the Committee, expressing optimism that the piece of legislation will stand the test of time.
Speaking further, Hon. Monguno who doubles as the Majority Whip, solicited for the support of various stakeholders including the IOCs in achieving the set objectives, by subjecting the Bill to be detailed, as well as allowing public scrutiny to ensure that Nigerians are carried along.
“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. In as much as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process, it is our hope and believe that the Bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of year 2021,”he assured.
The Chairman who expressed concern over the prolonged delay in the passage of the bill despite frantic efforts made by successive National Assembly, explained that the journey to pass the PIB did commenced in 2007,but evaded three successive Assemblie, that is: the 6th, 7th and 8th Assemblies
“I am particularly alarmed that though the exploration of fossil fuel in Nigeria dated back to the 60s but commercial exploration may only last for another 25 years, it is not to say that we might exhaust the deposit, but that the entire world is focusing on research to develop, renewable energy that could turn out to be cheaper and environmentally friendlier.
“That is why it has become expedient, more than ever to leverage on this window of opportunity that the oil exploration present to us as Nigerians, by ensuring that the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed without further delay.
“In spite of all the effort of the preceding administrations to diversify our mono economy, the oil industry still remains the main-stay of our country every time there’s signiﬁcant fluctuations in the price of crude oil, all other sectors of our national lives suffers.
“The Petroleum Industry Bill seeks to provide for Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Communities and for related matters.
“The Bill when passed will improve clarity of structures, roles accountability, transparency and overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Institutions in the Oil Industry.
“The House, at plenary on ‘Tuesday 24 November, 2020 read the Petroleum Industry Iiill (PHI) for the second time and referred same to the Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum industry Bill (PIB) earlier constituted for further legislative action,
“Under our watch as a Committee, which I am privileged to Chair, it is a general consensus that the passage of this Bill is long overdue. We are taking time to review what has been done by the previous Assemblies and what we need to do differently.
“Prior to the referrer of the Bill, the leadership of the House, the Senate and the relevant Committees of the National Assembly, has been briefed by the Minister of Petroleum with his team, wherein most of the concerns and controversies contained in the previous drafts has been signiﬁcantly addressed with this present draft.”
According to him, the Bill comprises five chapters namely: “Governance and Institutions, Administration, Host Communities Development, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Framework and Miscellaneous Provisions.
“It also include seven schedules: Right of Pre-Emption; Principles of Negotiating Incorporated Joint Ventures; Domestic Base Price and Pricing Framework; Pricing Formula for Gas Price for the Gas Based Industries; Capital Allowances; Production Allowances and Cost Price Ratio Limit; and Petroleum Fees, Rents and Royalty,” Hon. Monguno noted.