OrderPaperToday – Former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, has advised members of the National Assembly not to rush to enact a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in order not to make a “bad law”.

 

Ajumogobia said although Nigeria has dithered unnecessarily on petroleum reforms with negative consequences, it is necessary to be solutions-driven as “a bad law is worse than no law.”

He gave the warning at the public presentation of a report on the petroleum sector unveiled by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) which held in Abuja on Thursday.

The report is the 2019 Benchmarking Exercise Report (BER), the fourth in the series by the NNRC since 2012.

Ajumogobia, who chairs the Expert Advisory Panel of the NNRC, said although the enthusiasm to pass a law for the sector being professed by both the e executive and the legislature was a positive signal, the reforms pursued must be made to align with the purpose of getting Nigeria on the path of readiness for global competitiveness.

He regretted that Nigeria has lost its slot as a favourite investment destination to other countries like Ghana because of the government’s failure to make critical reforms promised in the PIB,  which he noted with further regret, was a legislation he kick-started as far as 2007 while he was in office.

A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Henry Nwawuba, who represented the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the legislature was in a hurry to pass the PIB  especially against the backdrop of current cordial relations between the executive and legislative arms of government

The lawmaker said the PIB is a critical component of the legislative agenda of the 9th House of Representatives and that members were determined more than ever before to have speed through its passage.

Also speaking at the event, the director of Communications and Advocacy of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who represented the executive secretary, Mr. Waziri Adio, expressed delight at the presentation of the BER, noting that the NNRC and his organisation are partners in progress.

Earlier, in a welcome remark, the coordinator of NNRC, Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli, said “actions taken to address the gaps identified by the NNRC’s 2019 BER will guide Nigeria towards effectively translating our petroleum resources under the ground to development above the ground.”

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