OrderPaperToday – Unable to wait for the Executive version of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the House of Representatives has begun moves to present its bill.

Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara said this was in line with the need for urgency in reforming the country’s oil and gas sector.

A statement signed by the speaker’s special adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, said Dogara said this when he received a delegation of the international board of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) at the National Assembly on Monday.

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The speaker who said the National Assembly cannot be perpetually blamed for non passage of the key petroleum reform bill said it will be given expeditious consideration by both chambers of the National Assembly when eventually introduced.

He said: “We have repeatedly, especially my humble self, have repeatedly called on the executive to present reform proposals in the petroleum sector.

“However, we may not continue to wait for an executive bill on this subject matter as we are prepared  to introduce the National Assembly’s version; what we believe should be the legal framework for the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.”

“We cannot continue to take the blame for non passage of the petroleum reform legislation in Nigeria. As I speak with you, work on our own version has reached advanced stage and hopefully, we hope to introduce it in both chambers of the National Assembly.

“If it happens that the executive transmits its own version of its own vision of the oil sector, we have ample provision in the House Rules for us to merge the two together. We will not continue to wait.”

He said beginning from the first quarter of this year, the House would begin consideration and debate of NEITI’s extractive industry audit report.

He directed the committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Rules and Business to introduce and schedule the report for debate before the end of this quarter.

Earlier, the acting executive secretary of NEITI, Mr Orji Ogbannaya Orji, who accompanied the incoming chairman of EITI and former Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Fedrick Reinfeldt, stressed the need for industry reforms.

Reinfeldt on his part, commended Nigeria for being one of the first African nations to key into EITI, while harping on the need for transparency and prudent use of natural resources.

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