*Nigerian Senate chamber.
Mkpoikana Udoma 29 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – More reactions are trailing the recent passage of the long awaited Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill, PIGB, by the 8th Senate, after over 15years in different legislative sessions of the National Assembly.
A group known as Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, is reminding the National Assembly that the Bill has left out fiscal issues, saying it remain the most important aspect of the old PIB.
Executive Director of CISLAC, Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa, in a statement called on the Nigerian Senate to immediately commence work on other parts of the old Bill, saying it is the only way to demonstrate trustworthiness and sustain confidence of Nigerians in the petroleum sector.
Musa, however, commends the legislative stride by Upper Chamber of the National Assembly that resulted in recent passage of the bill.
“We recall that passage of the PIGB formed a major campaign promise of the present administration to be delivered; the commitment which was reiterated in the Federal Government’s Short and Medium Term Priorities to grow Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry 2015–2019, fancifully labelled the “7 Big Wins” with a time lapse at the first quarter of 2017.
“We note that the Bill as passed reflected many of the proposals put forward by civil society, including CISLAC and her partners during the Public Hearing session held on the Bill, especially the unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to separate her commercial role from her regulatory functions, among others.
“It would be recalled that CISLAC had reservations about the splitting of the Bill initially because of the possibility that the other components may never be attended to and uses the this opportunity to remind the National Assembly that the Bill has left out fiscal issues which remain the most important aspect of the old PIB.”
The group in the statement also called on the Senate and the House of Representatives to commence work on other outstanding parts of the passed Bill, as well as the onward assent of the bill by the President.
“We call on the Nigerian Senate to immediately commence work on the outstanding parts on which the passed Bill is silent as it had promised, as it is the only way to demonstrate trustworthiness and sustain confidence of Nigerian people.
“We also call on the House of Representatives as a way of urgency to consider the Bill. Alternatively, we urge the House to adopt the Senate version to conclude the legislative process for onwards assent by the President.
“We call on the President to promptly assent to the Bills, whenever they are transmitted to him, after legislative process, as we believe the Bill if implemented will provide appropriate legal and regulatory framework in the oil and gas sector.”