Nigeria: Senate Receives Report On Petroleum Industry Bill

(file photo).

The report on PIB was submitted about five months after the public hearing on the bill was held by the senators.

The Senate on Tuesday received the committee report on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Mohammed Sabo (Jigawa South West), the Chairman of the Joint Committees on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream) and Gas Resources, laid the report before the Senate during plenary.

The report comes over five months after the public hearing on the bill. The details of the report will be considered on another legislative day.

After the report was laid, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, directed the secretariat to ensure that all the lawmakers get copies of the report.

He said this is to enable the senators to deliberate the report and possibly pass the bill on Thursday.

The PIB is currently at the final stages at the National Assembly.

Many participants at the hearing in January had raised several concerns ranging from higher operating expenditure to gender representation.

The Host Communities demanded 10 per cent equity shareholding. This is against the 2.5 per cent proposed in the bill.

Residents of these communities also complained that previous assemblies had pegged the equity share holding for host communities at 10 per cent Operating Expenditure but the percentage declined every time the bill was considered again.

The bill seeks to scrap the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

It also proposes the creation of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited - after all the assets and liabilities of the NNPC have been identified by the ministers of petroleum resources and finance. And to establish the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

The leadership of the National Assembly has since promised speedy passage and thorough scrutiny of the bill.

After passage, the bill will be transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

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