Why 9th Assembly should pass PIB
Secretary, Lawyers in Oil and Gas Network, organizers of Lawyers in Oil and Gas Conference, Mrs. Raqeebah Oloko is worried that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has not been passed for more than 20 years, expressing hope that the incoming lawmakers would break the jinx.
She said that there is much to be gained with the passage of the bill by the 9th Assembly as it would no longer allow monopoly in the system and also reduce bureaucracy among other things.
According to her, a lot of efforts were put in place by stakeholders to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill was also passed into law during the 8th Assembly unsuccessfully. Oloko regretted that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry has been waiting for over 20 years for the passage of the PIB.
Her words: “But the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who is also a lawyer, decided that instead of waiting for the PIB to be passed into law, he could introduce new laws in the name of policies and regulations which only needed to be approved by the Federal Executive Council to regulate the industry.
“Some of the policies and regulations are: the National Oil Policy, The National Gas Policy, The National Petroleum Fiscal Policy, and The National Gas Flare Commercialisation Regulation.”
On account of those, the Network would be holding the 2019 annual oil and gas conference at Four Points by Sheraton, Lagos on the 7th of May to address the issues. This year’s conference theme is: ‘Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry: Its National Policies and Regulation, A Reflection on the Economy’.
According to Oloko, the conferences/retreats serve as training and networking ground for lawyers in the industry.
“It has been observed that we need to build and improve on capacity in this area, as there is a vacuum. This is because there is a wide gap of knowledge, experience and exposure between the older generation of lawyers who are already authorities in their own right and the younger generation. This must be bridged, and the network helps to do that.
“Secondly, it helps members keep abreast of the latest information going on the industry to help them better advice their clients. Though, still in its formative stage, recommendations from these events are forwarded to the necessary quarters to help guide their decisions and activities and participation is open to all lawyers and non-lawyers in the Oil and Gas industry,” she explained.