Senate Requests Presence Of NNPC As It Deliberates On PIB

Senate President says PIB will increase Nigeria's oil revenue | Nairametrics

Joseph Bakare

The Senate may be at the critical stage of finally passing the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, as it requested the presence of the Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari to appear before today.

He is being invited to brief the lawmakers on the Bill.

At its plenary on Wednesday, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said that the GMD, has been invited to address the Senators on the technical and financial details of the Bill before the consideration of the report.

According to Lawan, the briefing will enable Senators who are not members of the Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources, Down stream, Petroleum, Upstream and Gas Resources to understand the content of the Bill properly.

The Senate will today consider  the report of the Joint Committee on the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.

This was disclosed  after the Report of the Joint Committee on Petroleum ( Downstream) Petroleum ( Upstream) and Gas Resources Petroleum Industry  Bill, 2021 ( SB. 510) was laid by the Chairman, Senator Sabo Mohammed, All Progressives Congress, APC, Jigawa – West.

Lawan had  mandated that all the Senators must get the copies of the report and  that it  will be considered today.

He, therefore asked the Joint Committee to provide lawmakers with copies of the Bill ahead of its consideration to enable them study its content.

Lawan had  said: “Let me use the opportunity to thank our Joint Committee for working so hard, selflessly and patriotically to produce the report on the Petroleum Industry Bill.
“This report, a copy each, must be made available to each and every Senator today, this afternoon.
“I don’t know how the Committee would arrange it, but every Senator must have a copy today. And we would be considering the report on Thursday
“So, we have today, tomorrow until the beginning of Thursday to look at the report, so that when we consider it, we will be doing so on the basis of what we have been able to read from this very important report.”

The Senate leadership had last month  assured that the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB 2020 will be passed before the end of this month.

He said that as Nigeria begins a new year, 2021, the Bill 2020(SB)510 will be passed by end of the first quarter of the year.

Lawan, who spoke shortly after a closed-door session with the Security Chiefs had  said that before that date, “we expect that our committees will still be working particularly the Joint Committee working on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

“We expect that the joint committee will  be presenting its report to the Senate as soon as we resume. It is still our desire and determination to pass the PIB before the end of May.”

The PIB scaled second reading October  2020 and after debate on the its  general principles, the bill was referred to the Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Downstream, and Gas for reports in eight weeks.

Pending since 2007,  the PIB which is an  executive bill seeks, among others, to promote the competitive and liberalised downstream sector of the petroleum industry as well as the development of fuel and chemical industries.

Lawan, who had said that the ninth National Assembly would make the passage of PIB part of its legacies, also assured that the National Assembly would pass the bill in good time without compromising proper scrutiny.

The new PIB is said to be important, especially as it aims at the restructuring as well as transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry.

Specifically, Section 54(1, 2 and3 ) states among others that, “the Minister (of Petroleum) and the Minister of Finance shall determine the assets, interests, and liabilities of NNPC to be transferred to NNPC Limited or its subsidiaries and upon the identification, the minister shall cause such assets, interests, and liabilities to be transferred to NNPC Limited.

“Assets, interests, and liabilities of NNPC not transferred to NNPC Limited or its subsidiary under subsection 1 of this section shall remain the assets, interests, and liabilities of NNPC until they become extinguished or transferred to the government.”

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