Thursday’s passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) is laudable but not enough to stem the daily huge loss by the country due to the absence of comprehensive sectoral law, the Centre LSD has said.
The Programmes Director of the Centre Mr Monday Osasah and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) Programme Coordinator Joseph Amenaghawon told reporters yesterday in Abuja that the splitting of the initial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) initiated in 2000 into four separate bills was plausible but their non-passage despite many efforts is regrettable.
“We appreciate and commend members of the House of Representatives for the passage and concurrence with the Senate of the governance component of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). In May 25, 2017, the Senate passed the PIGB. The passage of the bill followed the submission of a report by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream) and Gas, which reflected Centre LSD memorandum during the public hearing held December 7 9, 2016,” Osasah said.
According to him in an attempt for the current National Assembly to bring about the needed reforms in the Petroleum sector and ensure speedy passage of the PIB, a logical and tactical approach was adopted by splitting the initial PIB into four bills of Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Upstream Petroleum License and Lease Administration Bill, Downstream Oil and Gas Administration Bill, and Petroleum Fiscal and Petroleum Revenue Management Bill.
He said the passage of one of the bills is not enough until the remaining three were passed to give a comprehensive law to the sector in the interest of the country.
He said the PIB which is the outcome of the Rilwanu Lukman-led Oil and Gas Reform Implementation Committee (OGlC), is aimed at legislating the proposed reforms in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector, saying the bill which has lingered in the National Assembly for l7 years has remained a cog in carrying out the needed reform in the oil and gas sector.
He cited a PENGASSAN 2016 position on the PIB which stated that Ghana who just joined the Petroleum Club recently on August 4, 2016 passed its own petroleum industry billinto law in a bid to attract investments in less than two years.
He also called for the reversal of the painful loss Nigeria suffers to the tune of US$200bn investments among other huge losses due to its inability to legislate the proposed reforms in its oil and gas industry