Friday, May 26, 2017 7:54 am
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and other stakeholders in the oil industry have commended the Senate on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).
In a statement by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, on Thursday in Abuja, the party said the Bill aimed to reform the oil and gas industry toward greater transparency and accountability.
The party said that the Bill had ‘’languished’’ in the various chambers of the National Assembly for about 12 years but took the purposeful and dedicated APC-led Senate to pass it.
“We are very excited that the Bill was passed today after about 12 years delay.
“We specially commend the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, for his focused leadership of the 8th Senate,’’ it said.
It said that the Senate had produced several legislative actions that had positively affected the lives of Nigerians, promoted good governance and advanced ongoing efforts to rebuild the country.
It added that the passage of the Bill was an indication that the country`s legislators were diligent and reform-minded, and committed to fulfilling the party`s campaign promises to Nigerians.
The party, however, called on the House of Representatives to follow the example of the Senate by also promptly passing the PIGB.
It urged Nigerians to continue to support and cooperate with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration and the National Assembly.
This, it said, was critical as they continued to make laws and execute projects to improve the well-being of Nigerians.
Also, some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry on Thursday commended the Senate for passing the PIGB.
Though it’s just the first tranche that was approved and that Senate said the second and final tranche was be passed subsequently, the stakeholders said that the PIGB was the best legal regulatory framework for the country’s petroleum industry.
According to the Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd., Mr Emmanuel Iheanacho, the enactment was a welcome development which is capable of revamping the dwindling oil sector.
“The law will liberalise and fully deregulate the downstream sector to operate without hindrance, and this will create right mix and completion for the sector.
“It will also bring about better economic value and attract investment to the country.
“The non-passage of the Bill all these years has caused the country to lose billions of naira in terms of investment, most of the opportunities were diverted to Ghana and Angola,’’ he said.
Mr Abiodun Adesanya, President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), said that the passage of the PIGB would bring the needed stability, transparency and accountability in the sector.
“ It is encouraging to see that we now have new set of rules and regulations that will guide operations in the oil and gas industry.
“This will create room for certainties and boost confidence for investors going forward.
“However, I want to hope that we will not have another set of delay from the executive from final signing it into law.
“If the executive is able to identify some loopholes in the PIGB that may set us back again, I hope that will not be the case,’’ he said.
The National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, said the Bill, when assented to would finally break NNPC’s monopoly.
Okoronkwo said that it was also gratifying that the law, when promulgated, would promote local content, adding that local industries would now have wider latitude to join the sector hitherto controlled by foreign oil companies.
News Agency of Nigeria also reports that the law would foster community development by ensuring peace in the oil-producing areas.