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Senate to pass PIB next month with eye on boosting economy

By Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt) and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja)   |   27 April 2017   |   4:38 am

The Senate during a plenary

The Senate yesterday said barring all unforeseen circumstances, it would pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) on May 16 and 17, 2017.Chairman, Senate committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Tayo Alaosoadura made the disclosure when the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington visited the committee yesterday.

Alaosoadura revealed that aspects of the Bill that would take care of the host communities and the fiscal aspect of the industry would be read for the first time today and passed before the end of the year.

His words: “We ought to have passed the PIGB yesterday, but because of the demise of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, we decided to hold a special session in his honour. That was why we could not pass it. But we have already agreed that the bill will be considered and passed between May 16 and 17.”

Symington said the United States was willing to offer professional advice to the country in their efforts to sanitize the oil and gas industry.Meanwhile, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have warned that all efforts to revitalise the Nigerian economy would not be unsustainable if a PIB that places national interest above personal and sectional interests was not passed into law urgently.

They argued that reforms in the industry would remain elusive except fundamental aspects of the reform were legislated through the PIB.Chairman of NUPENG and PENGASSAN Joint National Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Chika Onuegbu stated this in a paper titled: “The Funding Regimes in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry: Challenges, Failures and Panacea,” which he presented at the second Save Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Conference, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday.

Onuegbu said Nigeria had planned to achieve increased crude oil production capacity to 3 million barrel per day in 2003 and 4 million barrels per day by 2010, as well as raise crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2010.

In another development, the Senate will today grill the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Lawal Babachir over his alleged roles in the misappropriation of funds allocated for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the North-East.




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