House of Reps to take PIB to six geo-political zones

18 March 2013, Abuja –The House of Representatives will take the Petroleum Indusrty Bill, PIB, now under consideration in the House to the six geo-politica zones of the country.

This is to avail a wider range of Nigerians the opportunity to make contributions to the Bill.

House Chief Whip, Ishaka Bawa, who is also the adhoc committee Chairman on PIB, told journalists at the weekend in Abuja that the National Assembly would do everything possible to ensure that Nigerians had a feel of the Bill before it becomes law.

“Since the setting up of the Committee, a lot of background work has taken place before it was inaugurated last Wednesday. We have carefully drawn up a comprehensive work plan for the committee which comprises members’ retreat scheduled to take place from the 18th to 20th of this month in Lagos,” he said.

He continued: ”This will be followed by public hearings in the six geo-political zones with the grand finale in Abuja on dates to be announced in due course.

“The essence of the Zonal Public hearings is to bring the process to the door-steps of the people at the grass- roots, especially the oil producing communities, whose views will be a critical factor in packaging the kind of Petroleum Industry Law that will address not only elitist concerns, but also the other crucial issues concerning the environment as well as human development.

“The grand finale in Abuja wiil provide other stakeholders the opportunity to present their own perspectives on the bill.

“Other citizens and stakeholders not able to attend the public hearings can articulate their positions via memoranda to the Committee”.

Bawa also reassured: ”The Committee’s final report and recommend ations shall be reflective of the aggregate views of Nigerians. The House of Representatives has no fixed or hidden agenda on the Petroleum Industry Bill and accordingly this Committee will be so guided in this assignment.

“In the final analysis, we would have struck a delicate but necessary balance between overriding national interests on the one hand and the need to make our oil industry attractive to foreign investments on the other.

“The need for this balance has become even more imperative since Nigeria and a few countries in Africa no longer have the monopoly they hitherto enjoyed in oil export.”

About the Author