6 December 2011, Sweetcrude, Benin City – The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has urged the Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke to walk the talk on her recent statement in the media stating that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will soon be re-presented to the National Assembly to avoid the duplications of the bill and confusion, which characterized the previous bill at the sixth National Assembly.
ANEEJ had recently in a communiqué issued after a policy dialogue on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) organized in Abuja with support from USAID through Pact Nigeria, called on the Federal Government to re-present the bill to the National Assembly to resolve the question of ownership.
With the assertion of the Petroleum Minister, Nigerians can now breathe an air of relief on issue of the Passage of the PIB as the Senate had few weeks ago explained that the bill was not in the House.
However, Rev David Ugolor, Executive Director of ANEEJ, while commending the stand of the Federal Government to represent the bill to the National Assembly, called on the Petroleum Minister to match words with action as Nigerians are tired of promises.
President Jonathan and Diezani Alison-Madueke had assured Nigerians that the PIB would be passed before the expiration of the 6th Assembly, a promise that was not kept and Nigerians have become cynical about such promises. Ugolor said.
Ugolor recalled that in 2008, the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration in line with the desire to reform Nigeria’s Oil Sector reconstituted the Oil and Gas Sector Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC) to actualize the recommendations of the first committee set up by former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
This formed the basis of the PIB and the essence was to reform the structural, regulatory and commercial / fiscal framework of the petroleum industry in order to halt the mismanagement, inefficiency and lack of transparency in the industry.
We are aware of the diverse interests on the bill but we are encouraged by the many voices calling for its immediate passage this time around and thus urge the Petroleum Minister to match words with action to ensure that the bill is re-presented to the National Assembly for consideration to demonstrate to Nigerian the commitment of Federal Government to the reform of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, Rev David Ugolor concluded.