OrderPaperToday – The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has revealed that the National Assembly will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) next year.
In his remarks after the passage of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004(amendment) Bill 2019 today, the Senate President disclosed that work on the PIB will likely commence in January, 2020.
His remarks are in tandem with his comments on Monday at the public hearing on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004(amendment) Bill 2019.
The public hearing was convened jointly by the Senate committees on Petroleum (upstream), Gas, Finance and Judiciary.
“We want to attract more investments and therefore it is absolutely necessary that we engage in a process that we produce a win-win situation” for Nigeria and the business concerns in the oil and gas industry.
“Let me assure everyone here that the national assembly is determined to pass this bill and of course that will be a precursor to our determination to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill next year,” Lawan said yesterday.
He further assured that the National Assembly will adopt a different approach to make the passage of the PIB a reality.
“We want to see a situation where the Legislature and the Executive work very closely to have a PIB that will attract investment into the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
“An investment climate that will be competitive; we know we have other countries who have this product, and therefore we have to be competitive, we have to have an environment where the businesses make profit.
“This is a journey that involves everyone. We want both government – and that includes the legislature and executive on one hand and IOCs (International Oil Companies) to work together to ensure that this environment we are trying to create is an environment that will work for all of us,” the Senate President added.
The Petroleum Industry Bill was first introduced in 2007 but has not been passed into law.
In the 8th National Assembly, the PIB was divided into four parts — Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and Petroleum Host Community Bill.
After passage of the first part of the bill (Petroleum Industry Governance Bill) by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, it was transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent in July 2018 but the President declined to assent the bill in August last year.
While giving his reasons for rejecting the bill, the President expressed reservation with some responsibilities of the Petroleum Regulatory Commission. He kicked against the provision of the bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory Commission to retain 10 per cent of the revenue generated, as well as expansion of the functions of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).