We shall be thorough with PIB, Gbajabiamila assures Nigerians

September 28, 2020
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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has said the ninth National Assembly would be very thorough in its handling of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

He gave the assurance on Monday at a session between the leadership of the National Assembly and Minister of Petroleum Resources, Timpire Sylva and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari as the duo led top officials of the Corporation to the meeting.

Honourable Gbajabiamila who said the federal lawmakers would give consideration to speedy passage of the Bill, however, maintained that thoroughness would not be sacrificed on the altar of speed.

He said:” We are talking about the most important piece of legislation in the life of this administration. Because oil is the most popular, it represents the life wire of our economy. That represents the importance of this Bill. This ninth Assembly will pass it speedily however with a caveat because we won’t satisfy thoroughness at the altar of speed. Speed, because we need it but it will be in the best interest of the nation.”

The Speaker further disclosed that the Green Chamber has put together an ad-hoc committee made up of people versed in oil upstream, downstream, gas and local content

“It is going to be a busy three months for us, we are going to look at the PIB and 2021 budget. But it is going to be worthwhile.

In his presentation before they dissolved into a closed-door session, Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, recalled several efforts in the last 20 years for the passage of the Bill and the encumbrances encountered. He recalled that work on the Bill started with a draft in the year 2000.

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“We all collectively today have a date with history. The PIB like the Speaker said it is one of the most important pieces of legislation that this country needs now. It started almost exactly 20 years ago in the year 2000.”

“Today, in 2020 we are still discussing it because it is at the core of various sectors of the economy. Here we are, the 20th year but for me, it’s a good signal. One of the things investors want to look at is the predictability of the legal framework. We must convince them that laws don’t change very easily.”

Sylva alerted the nation that going by Oil Producing Exporting Country projections, the world dependence on oil would have reduced by 20 per cent in 40 years from now.

“Our focus should be that we take advantage of our resources while it matters. With PIB, we can make Nigeria an attractive investment destination.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the interactive session was to enable National Assembly has a deeper understanding of the Bill.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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