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Buhari to get harmonised PIGB from National Assembly

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NASS

The National Assembly is on the verge of returning the harmonised Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

Buhari had withheld assent to the PIGB, which is aimed at ensuring transparency and stimulating growth in the country’s oil industry.

Member of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on PIB, Mr. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, told The Guardian that the harmonisation committee of the two chambers of NASS had amended areas of disagreement with the president.

Ossai, who also chairs the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, expressed optimism that the report of the harmonisation committee would be presented for adoption by both chambers this week for onward transmission to Buhari for assent.

He, however, declined to give details of the changes made on the initial bill rejected by Buhari, which was aimed at whittling his powers in the oil industry.

The PIGB seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), widely perceived as a cesspit of corruption in the country’s oil industry.

It proposes to reform the governing institutional framework of the petroleum industry by setting up an independent regulatory agency, unbundling the NNPC into two limited liability companies and setting specific policy roles for the Minister of Petroleum Resources, among others.

The PIGB is one of four parts of the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which seeks to update the outdated provisions with a more comprehensive and current petroleum industry law that aligns with global standards.

It seeks to empower institutions, and not individuals, remove bad governance that leads to inefficiency, rent-seeking, inequity, secrecy and corruption in the country’s petroleum industry.

The other parts of the PIB, which are still pending consideration by NASS, include the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB), Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB) and Petroleum Host and Impacted Communities Bill (PHICB).


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