The National Assembly has promised to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) into law before December 2017. This was disclosed by the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Petroleum Downstream Hon Joseph Akinlaja during the first Business Clinic of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( LCCI) in Lagos at the weekend.
Hon Akinlaja, a former general secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas ( NUPENG) workers of Nigeria stated that the delay in passage of the bill in the past was due to lack of trust in our political leaders and policy somersault. According to him, the House of Representatives through the PIB is trying to ensure that all stakeholders through proper definition of their roles are made happy.” As the sponsor of Bill and interested in the bill and with the support of the speaker, the PIB will be passed into law before December 2017,” he assured.
Hon Akinlaja said the assurance on the bill is a follow up to the directive by the speaker mandating various committees to fast-track research and consultation on the bill. In his explanation, he explained that the House of Representatives is inviting stakeholders to a meeting that will address issues relating to PIB.”
Speaking on the need for quick passage of the bill recently, Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), President and General Secretary, Igwe Achese, called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the bill, to return the industry to the path of growth.
He said that NUPENG has examined the progress so far made in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill and other components of the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill, and expressed disappointment at the slow pace of work in the passage despite the assurance given by the leadership of the National Assembly that the bill will receive accelerated hearing and passage.
An Oil and Gas analyst, Ifeayi Izeze, emphasised the need for the Federal Government to ensure that the new bill addresses the desires of the Niger Delta communities.
Essentially, he said the passage of the bill in tranches could delay efforts at addressing issues relating to the interest of the oil communities, which may endanger the peace in the Niger Delta, saying PIGB must ensure that interests of the people of the region are addressed.