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VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which seeks to transform the country’s petroleum industry, will be approved soon, the Nigerian National Assembly has said..
The PIB, which has generated controversy amongst stakeholders and operators, is a Bill that is set to reform and overhaul Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in terms of operations, policies, structures, funding, and accountability as well as address the various debilities that currently plague the industry.
The delay in the passage of the Bill into law has raised questions and scepticisms due to its importance to Nigeria’s economy, which has oil exports as major source of revenue, and its over 170 million population.
“The question is; why is the PIB not signed into law? Who is afraid of the PIB? These people know quite well that if PIB is signed into law, all these problems confronting the nation’s oil and gas sector have been addressed by the bill,” Mr. Folorunsho Ogini, Chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Lagos Zone told Vanguard in an interview
The bill, which has passed through many administrations without measurable headway, is finally set for approval according to Mr. Peterside Dakuku, Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream oil sector)
Some stakeholders are however sceptic, as the bill has been protracted numerous times.
Dakaku however assured the public that the National Assembly might pass the bill at the end of the year since it has gone through the first and second reading and was currently at the legislative process.
This means stakeholders must align themselves to accommodate the new provisions as stated by the PIB
“The need to reposition all the agencies of government in the oil and gas sector is imperative otherwise the country will suffer a new crisis of how to manage new ways of doing things as prescribed by the PIB,” Dakuku said.
Although many believe that the bill has been delayed for so long because of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) who have reservations about the effect on their businesses and investments, the eventual approval and implementation of the bill will hopefully send ripples of transformation through the industry and create a change that will diffuse the monopoly of foreign multinationals and usher in stability and increased local participation in the industry.