OrderPaperToday – A Civil Society advocacy group, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has commended the House of Representatives for the passage of the much awaited Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB).
The group also urged the lawmakers to pass the other outstanding petroleum industry reform bills as soon as possible.
The group stated this in a press statement made available to OrderPaper.Ng on Thursday, signed by its Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani).
According to the statement, the passage of the bill and the ultimate assent by President Muhammadu Buhari would “promote transparency, accountability and governance, as well as curtail monumental financial losses in our nation’s oil and gas sector.”
The statement reads: “We are not unaware that the passage, which aimed primarily at the restructuring and reformation of the nation’s oil and gas sector has set the pace for the unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to establishing independent agency for effective operationalization and regulation of the sector and merger of its subsidiaries into an entity for appropriate supervision and coordination.
“We recall that both the House and the Senate passed the PIGB for a second reading in June 2017 after which the leadership of the House set up the ad hoc committee headed by Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Al-hassan Ado Doguwa, to conduct public hearing for stakeholders’ inputs to fine tune the bill.
“We are pleased that the passage is in line with overarching recommendations made by CISLAC during an engagement with the House’s Ad hoc Committee on PIGB in October 2017 with subsequent commitments by the Committee to get it passed—along with other outstanding PIG Bills, before the end of their tenure. We believe this passage comes in fulfillment of the commitments.
“Considering other outstanding bills that are paramount to the existence and composition of PIGB such as those related to the host communities and fiscal issues in the sector that have passed through second reading in the House, we call for sustained efforts and commitments to fast-track their passage.
“We understand that with this development, the PIGB has approached a stage awaiting consideration for appropriate harmonisation with that of the Senate to sail the adopted version for Presidential assent.
“We call on both Chambers of the National Assembly to hold a Joint Session to accelerate the harmonisation process of the two versions passed for timely Presidential assent.
“We also commend the civil society groups, media and other stakeholders for their persistent engagements to ensure the passage and assent to the PIGB is brought to the limelight.”