The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has commended the House of Representatives for the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB).
This is even as it urged the Legislature to give urgent consideration to other pending oil, gas industry related bills.
The civil society organization, through a statement signed by its Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), noted that the legislative action would, to an appreciable extent, promote transparency, accountability and governance, and curtails huge financial losses in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
CISLAC recalled that both the House and the Senate had earlier passed the PIGB for a second reading in June last year after which the leadership of the House set up the Ad Hoc Committee headed by Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Al-hassan Ado Doguwa, to conduct Public Hearing for stakeholders’ inputs to fine tune the bill.
Musa explained: “We are not unaware that the passage, which aimed primarily at the restructuring and reformation of the nation’s oil and gas sector has set the pace for unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to establishing independence agency for effective operationalization and regulation of the sector and merger of its subsidiaries into an entity for appropriate supervision and coordination.
“We are pleased that the passage is in line with overarching recommendations made by CISLAC during an engagement with the House’s Ad-Hoc Committee on PIGB in October 2017 with subsequent commitments by the Committee to get it passed—along with other outstanding PIG Bills, before the end of their tenure. We believe this passage comes in fulfilment of the commitments.
“Considering other outstanding Bills that are paramount to the existence and composition of PIGB such as those related to the host communities and fiscal issues in the sector that have passed through second reading in the House, we call for sustain efforts and commitments to fast-track their passage”, the CISLAC boss added.
While noting that with this development, the PIGB has approached a stage awaiting consideration for appropriate harmonisation with that of the Senate to sail the adopted version for President’s assent, the group appealed to both chambers of the National Assembly to hold a Joint Session to accelerate the harmonisation process of the two versions passed for timely Presidential assent.
CISLAC also commended the civil society groups, media and other stakeholders for their persistent engagements to ensure the passage and assent to the PIGB is brought to the limelight.