Presidency, Senate, Reps assure Nigerians of PIGB passage
The Presidency, the Senate and House of Representatives have assured Nigerians of their resolve to see the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) through in the current dispensation.
They disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 18th International Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Biennial Conference on the Nigerian oil and gas industry organised by the Department of Petroleum Resource in Lagos, yesterday.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, noted that final touches were being made on the bill at the National Assembly level to adjust for gaps identified on the version hitherto passed by the legislatures.
Commenting on the theme of the conference: ‘Driving Sustainability in the Oil and Gas Industry through Improved Stakeholders Environmental Stewardship’, Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, said the theme dovetail’s seamlessly with this administration’s vision and policy for the Industry as a vehicle for driving the industrialisation and growth of the Nigerian economy in a transparent, responsible and sustainable manner.
He said: “No discussion about the future of the oil and gas can be divorced from the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which represents the most ambitious and comprehensive reform in decades of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. While there have been varied reactions to Mr. President’s recent decision to return the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) to the National Assembly for slight amendments, permit me to state unequivocally that this administration remains fully committed to the passage of the PIGB and we are working closely with the National Assembly to ensure its timely passage.
“The reforms proposed in the PIGB reflect our collective desire to entrench transparency and sustainability of oil and gas operations in Nigeria to enable the country finally to realise the full potential of her hydrocarbon resources.”
Osinbajo said resolving the security challenge in the Niger Delta remains on the front burner for the current administration as it seeks to create a peaceful business climate that will attract investors and bring massive development to the oil producing communities.
The Director, DPR, Mordecai Ladan, in his remark, said the oil and gas industry seemed to be under a new threat, which is the renewed dislike and global war against fossil fuels and the quest for renewable and cleaner energy, purely for environment considerations, chief among which is the concern about global warming.
He said: “Over the years, the threat against fossil fuels had always been on paper, but today, it is more real than ever, based on some clear evidence I like to draw our attention to.
“Three among the biggest technology companies have made attempts at electric cars to replace gasoline and diesel engines. While the attempt of Apple may not have made it to production yet and that of Google was suspended after clearly successful street trials that of Tesla actually took the world by surprise.”
Saraki, who was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) Senator Tayo Alasoadura, said: “This week the recommendation of the committee reviewing the PIGB will be submitted to the Senate. All grey areas in the bill are being addressed to facilitate the eventual assent by the President.”
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), who represented Dogara, said: “We are currently working to ensure that the bill is represented to the Presidency for its assent. This is to ensure the bill is passed in this dispensation.”