22 July 2013, Abuja – The Senate President, David Mark, has warned international oil companies, IOCs, operating in Nigeria to desist from threatening to park out of the country at the slightest provocation. Mark issued the warning while declaring open a two-day public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, organised by the Senate joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream), Gas and Judiciary.
“The international oil companies should not take undue advantage of Nigeria. What I do not want is when people begin to threaten that if you do not do this, we will park out of Nigeria.” According to Mark, we are conscious of the fact that there are frustrations in the oil industry, but it is only temporary as things are even getting better.
The senate president said the sixth National Assembly tried to pass the bill, but failed as several versions of the bill turned out at the end of the day.
He said he was optimistic that this time around, there was only one version and encouraged all stakeholders to work together towards fast tracking its passage.
“To demonstrate the importance of this bill, we have four Committees working on it. We like as much as possible to fast track this bill because it is beginning to hold up so many things.
“Some investors when you talk to them, they tell you that they are waiting for the PIB to be passed, so we are anxious to get it out of the way,” he said. He enjoined all stakeholders present not to view the bill as a parochial issue or as one section of the country against another, and urged everyone to be objective.
“Nigeria wants to encourage investors and encourage more investment in the oil industry.
“The PIB is a win win situation for everyone and so let us work towards fast tracking its passage,” Mark said.