23 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Nigeria’s long-awaited Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB will be out and ready for use in the first quarter of 2018, SweetcrudeReports has learnt.
A source close to the situation hinted that the bill had left the Senate a few weeks ago and is currently before the House of Representatives.
If it succeeds as presently drafted then Nigeria will have five new commercial and governance organisations to replace existing ones, such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Department of Petroleum Resources.
The PIGB is an Act to establish the legal and regulatory framework, institutions and regulatory authorities for the Nigerian petroleum industry, to establish guidelines for the operation of the upstream and downstream sectors, and for purposes connected with the same.
This newspaper also learnt that the reason behind the delay in passing the Bill was to give equal attention to all segments under the Act.
“We are taking our time because once it is passed, it has to be once and for all until many years after before any review. We won’t want to hurriedly pass the bill because other parts like that of the host communities have to be given equal attention to and well sorted out.”
“As it is right now, the bill left the Senate a few weeks ago. Now at the House of Reps,” our source said.
The Bill will get to the presidency by January 2018, he added.
When asked when the Bill is likely to be ready for implementation he responded with “first quarter of next year.”
While some stakeholders and experts in the petroleum industry have consistently said that solving challenges in the sector, rests upon the PIGB being passed into law, others have argued that the PIGB does not hold the magic wand to solving challenges in the sector.
According to the latter group, if several laws which have been in existence in Nigeria were not able to give a clear-cut as to how to handle challenges in the sector then, the PIGB may as well fail, given that same set of people handling enforcement of the old law, would still be in charge of the PIGB when eventually passed into law.