OrderPaperToday – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has assured that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would happen in April this year.
The bill which is titled, “A Bill for an Act to Provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Communities and for Related Matters (HB. 1061)”, PIB is an executive bill that has been in the making over 20 years ago.
The Speaker made the commitment while making his remarks at the public hearing organized by the Ad-hoc Commitee of the House on PIB in the National Assembly complex Abuja on Wednesday.
He however stated that the accelerated passage would not diminish the thoroughness of scrutiny as lawmakers are expected to do due diligence to the bill.
“We intend to pass this bill by April. That is the commitment we have made. Some may consider it a tall order. But we will do it without compromising the thoroughness”, he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Silva, expressed happiness that after 20 years, both the Senate and the House have shown sustained determination and willingness to pass the bill.
On his part, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Mele Kyari, offered a glimpse of hope that oil will still be relevant in the next 30 years.
He said the passage of the bill will bring about the needed vigour and transparency that would in turn engender productivity in the petroleum industry.
Similarly, the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mohammed Nami, said “the bill when passed into law will promote economic growth and make the petroleum sector competitive.
“FIRS is in total support to develop the oil and gas industry inline with the international best practices”, he said
It would be recalled that the President of the Senate, Mr. Ahmed Lawan, recently alleged that certain unnamed high profile variegated interests, had stifled the legislative progress and passage of the bill.
President Muhammadu Buhari on September 20, 2020 retransmitted the PIB to the national assembly for which the House is holding the public hearing.