Delay in PIB Bill passage costs Nigeria bn annually – Senator
By Emma Una
CALABAR—NIGERIA is losing not less than 15 billion dollars investments annually as a result of non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, the senator representing Southern senatorial district of Cross River State, Senator Gershom Bassey, has said.
Senator Bassey, who is the Team Leader of National Assembly Subcommittee on Petroleum Industry Bill, stated this when the committee paid a visit to the governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu
According to him: “The delay in the passage of the PIB, as well as the lack of much needed reforms over the last decade, have created a climate of uncertainty in Nigeria’s oil sector which has not been conducive in attracting further investments. As we are aware, Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil and gas producer and the petroleum sector has long suffered from frequent scandals, mismanagement and lack of coherent guidelines and regulations.”
Senator Bassey noted that the commercial exploitation of hydrocarbon in the country began six decades ago with the sector witnessing several formal and informal reforms, saying that due to obsolete policies, practices, laws, and regulations, a new reform of the sector which commenced in 2000 was expected to take the sector to greater heights.
The Ondo State governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on his part, expressed delight at the efforts by the Federal Government to integrate repentant militants into the amnesty programme.
He said during Vice President Yemi Osibanjo’s recent visit to the state he hinted that the government had directed the amnesty office to urgently take action on the integration of militants who recently laid down their arms in Ondo State.
“We told them to lay down their arms and promised to integrate them into the amnesty programme they accepted and laid down their arms. It is a bargain which must be kept,” the governor said.
According to him, one of the novel initiatives to successfully reform the petroleum industry was the need to split the omnibus PIB into four logical pieces of bills, saying “In March 2018, the Petroleum Governance Bill, PIGB, the first of the four Bills fully passed though both Houses of the National Assembly and now with the President for assent. The remaining three Bills: Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, PIAB, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill, PIFB, and the Petroleum Host Community Bill, PHCB, complement the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, to ensure holistic reform of the petroleum industry.”
He explained that the PIAB describes how the industry ought to be managed in great detail ensuring that licensing provisions as well as ensuring that the sector operates with the greatest ease of doing business.
“The PHCB on its own is created for the development and management of Communities that host petroleum operations and facilitate and to ensure fair returns to all stakeholders as well as guarantee peaceful co-existence with operators”.
Senator Bassey also disclosed that it was in the light of this that the Senate Joint Committee on PIB decided to set aside some days to visit Oil Producing Areas/ Host Communities to discuss with the Chief Executives of states, stakeholders, and Host Communities to assess on the spot the progress level impacted on the host communities
The Ondo State governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on his part, expressed delight at the efforts by the Federal Government to integrate repentant militants into the amnesty programme.
He said during the Vice Presidents Professor Yemi Osibanjo during a recent visit to the state had hinted that the government had directed the amnesty office to urgently take action on the integration of militants who recently laid down their arms in Ondo State, “We told them to lay down their arms and promised to integrate them into the amnesty programme which they accepted and laid down their arms it is a bargain which must be kept”
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