PIB for passage by March 2021, say Reps

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The House of Representatives has announced its plan to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The Ad Hoc Committee on PIB made this known in Abuja on Wednesday. The House had on Tuesday passed the bill for second reading.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamilia, had referred the bill to the committee for further legislative processes. The legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigeria Petroleum Industry, Development of Host Communities and for Related Matters’.

Chief Whip of the House and Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Monguno, in his opening speech at the inaugural meeting of the panel on Wednesday, noted that the PIB when passed into law, would improve the clarity of structures, roles accountability, transparency, and overall efficiency and effectiveness of the institutions in the oil industry. He said, “Under our watch as a committee, which I am privileged to chair, it is a general consensus that the passage of this Bill is long overdue. We are taking time to review what has been done by the previous Assemblies and what we need to do differently.

“Prior to the referrer of the bill, the leadership of the House, the Senate, and the relevant committees of the National Assembly have been briefed by the Hon. Minister of (State for) Petroleum (Resources, Timipre Sylva), with his team, wherein most of the concerns and controversies contained in the previous drafts has been significantly addressed with this present draft.” The lawmaker stated that the committee would do its best by engaging various stakeholders, civil societies and the general public by subjecting the bill to detailed and public scrutiny.

“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. In as much as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process. It is our hope and belief that the bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of the year 2021.

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