• Monday, July 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria’s Petroleum industry bill suffers set back as officials defer consideration

The long awaited Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) suffered a setback on the floor of the House of Representatives during Wednesday’s plenary session, as members unanimously resolved to defer the bill’s consideration, along with two other related bills, till next Tuesday, June 13.

The resolution was reached sequel to an observation by Majority leader Femi Gbajabiamila, who urged the House to defer consideration of the bills due to the “need for members to digest the contents.”

Almost a decade after it was first proposed to lawmakers, the PIGB was passed by the Nigerian Senate only last month. It now requires a nod from the House of Representatives before President Muhammadu Buhari can sign it into law.

The Bill, the first of three bills that replaced previous proposals, is aimed at reforming the way Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is regulated and funded. Delays in the passage of the bill have created a climate of uncertainty that has cost the country as much as $15 billion a year in lost investment, according to the Petroleum Ministry.

Other two bills stepped down at today’s plenary include: ‘A bill for an Act for legislative framework relating to petroleum producing host community’s participation, cost and benefit sharing among government, petroleum exploration companies and petroleum Host Communities and mater’s connected thereto’, sponsored by Victor Nwokolo, Joseph Akinlaja and Agbedi Frederick.

The bill and memorandum on legal and regulatory framework, institutions and regulatory authorities for the operations of the upstream and downstream sectors, and to provide for the establishment of the legal and regulatory framework and Authorities as well as guidelines for the operations of the upstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian petroleum industry and for other connected purposes sponsored by Daniel Reyenieju and 17 others were also stepped down.

However, a bill for an Act to provide for Governance and Institutional Framework for the Petroleum Industry and to establish a fiscal framework that encourages further investment in the petroleum industry whilst increasing accruable revenues to the Federal Government of Nigeria and for other related matters, and a bill for an Act to provide for the governance and institutional framework for the Petroleum Industry and for other related matters transmitted by the Senate were consolidated.

KEHINDE AKINTOLA