The House of Representatives is moving to setup a thirty-man committee to accelerate the passage of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law.
The thirty-member committee will be drawn five members each from the six geo-political zones of the country, which is expected to start work on the bill in the third week of this month.
This was disclosed by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, who spoke to journalists, said the House would go ahead with the process of amending and passing the bill, even without the input of the executive.
He was responding to questions on whether the bill was presented to the House by the executive for reconsideration.
”We don’t need the executive to tutor us. We are going ahead with considering the bill. An ad-hoc committee has been set up with five people per zone, plus House Whip as Chairman and the Chairman on Banking and Currency, Victor Nwokolo, as his deputy,” Elumelu said.
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Nwokolo, also disclosed that the committee would start work on the bill in the third week of this month.
“We are commencing work on the third week of August on the bill,” he said.
Another lawmaker, Nicholas Ossai, advised the President to cooperate with the National Assembly on the piece of legislation to enable more investments in the oil and gas industry.
“I expect the President to lay that bill before the National Assembly in September, so we can deal with the issue, so that a lot of investors can come into the oil and gas industry and create jobs,” Ossai said.
The PIB was originally introduced to both Chambers of the National Assembly in December 2008. The piece of legislation has since undergone several revisions and has been the subject of controversy and debate.
Recall that Nigerian NewsDirect reported on Monday that the Honourable Minister for Petroleum, Timpre Sylva said that the PIB will be made available to the National Assembly in two weeks time.
According to Sylva, “The PIB has been in process for over 20 years and I’m using this medium to tell you that we are ahead of it and we’re going to the National Assembly in the next two weeks.
“It is a good reform for the industry for example a cost of production in Nigeria has been a challenge for us because we cannot continue to produce at $40 per barrel when the oil is sold at $30 per barrel.
“Definitely its shows that there’s a lot of things that needs to be done to cutail this, such like our production cost and some other cost in the industry,” he added.