The National Assembly has been tasked by stakeholders in the oil industry to pass other components of the Petroleum Industry Bill just as it has done with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).
The call was made at a roundtable dialogue organized by Centre for Financial Journalism (CFJ) and Facility for Oil Sector Transformation (FOSTER) in Lagos which attracted stakeholders from the oil and gas industry, the media and non-governmental organizations.
The other components of the Petroleum Industry Bill are Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill; Petroleum Host Community Bill; and Petroleum Industry Administration Bill.
The Petroleum Fiscal Bill will ensure progressive framework that encourage sustained investments, growth and revenue to government; serve the socioeconomic needs of all stakeholders; and clarify legislative aspects of the fiscal regime from the negotiable aspects of contractual obligations.
On the other hand, Petroleum Host Community Bill will ensure shared prosperity and sustainable development of petroleum host communities; provide direct economic benefits to host communities; and assure inclusiveness, enhance peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship, while Petroleum Industry Administration Bill will enhance efficient, effective and sustainable development of the sector; encourage and facilitate local and foreign investment;
promote transparency and accountability; promote liberalization of the downstream sector; and ensure best practices in petroleum operations.
The stakeholders noted with dissatisfaction the long delay that has characterized the passage of these crucial bills, noting further that their non-passage so far has deprived the country enormous potential for the growth of the sector.
Since the Petroleum Industry Bill was initiated and introduced in 2000, it has been gridlocked in the politics between the contending forces within the Nigerian oil and gas industry such that so far, three successive governments have not been able to pass any component of the PIB into law.
Stakeholders also noted that the passage of these bills is urgently needed in view of current dynamics in the global oil market.
The Federal Government, including the National Assembly, should expedite action on concluding the necessary reviews of these bills so that they can be passed into law as soon as possible, the stakeholders insisted.