The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has stated that the new petroleum industry bill that the National Assembly is processing will enable Nigeria to operate at standards and levels of efficiency expected of a twenty-first-century oil and gas industry.
He also added that as it currently stands, even the government recognises that the industry can no longer meet its aspirations and those of key stakeholders.
Hon Dogara said these when he declared open a public hearing on Petroleum Industry Reform Bills at the National Assembly.
The Bills which were considered are the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and the Petroleum Host and Impacted Communities Bill.
The speaker regretted that the 6th and 7th National Assemblies grappled with but failed to conclude legislative consideration of the PIB, adding that as a member it both Assemblies he shared in the blame.
He explained, “This, in my opinion, was as a result of insufficient consultations, weak ownership of the Bill, absence of requisite political will as well as the extremely divergent and competing views of the government and other major stakeholders on the provisions of the Bill”
“The implications of the delay in concluding the oil and gas industry reform which commenced since the year 2000 has been very colossal for our country running into several billions of dollars that would have accrued to Nigeria and our economy coupled with the loss of our erstwhile continental competitiveness” the Speaker added.
He, however, assured that despite the setbacks experienced in the past, the 8th National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, will ensure that the bill passes because completion of the oil and gas industry reform is one of its cardinal programme
The reform Bills were split into the following Bills, namely the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill 2017, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill 2018, Petroleum Producing Host and Impacted Communities Bill, 2018 and the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, 2018.
The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, 2017 has been passed by both the House and Senate and is now before the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for assent.