By Seun Adeuyi
The House of Representatives has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed by end of the first quarter of 2021.
This was made known by the Ad Hoc Committee on PIB in Abuja on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the House had passed the bill for second reading.
Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamilia, had referred the bill 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’, to the committee for further legislative processes.
In his opening speech at the inaugural meeting of the panel on Wednesday, Chief Whip of the House and Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Monguno, noted that the PIB, when passed into law, would improve clarity of structures, roles accountability, transparency and overall efficiency and effectiveness of the institutions in the oil industry.
According to Monguno, “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.”
He 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.
The lawmaker explained that, “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 year 2021.
“The committee has taken liberty to create a website, www.hrpib.org.ng, as one of the platforms where stakeholders and interested members of the general public can download the text of the bill and also upload comments/inputs/memoranda to same.
“The website is particularly important because it enables all Nigerians so long as you have internet access, irrespective of where they might be or live, to participate in the legislative process.”