Senate Okays Prohibition Bill For Gas Flaring

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Senator George Sekibo (PDP Rivers East) fielding questions from newsmen in Port Harcourt, recently.
Senator George Sekibo (PDP Rivers East) fielding questions from newsmen in Port Harcourt, recently.

Ahead of next year’s end to gas flaring, the Senate has passed the (Prohibition and Punishment) Bill which seeks, among others, to ensure gas flare out in Nigeria.

Our correspondent reports that some senators who opposed the bill argued that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which was earlier passed through the second reading, could incorporate provisions of the gas flaring bill.

The PIB, when passed, would repeal about 20 existing acts currently regulating the oil and gas sector and emerge as an omnibus law establishing the legal and regulatory frame work, institutions and regulatory authorities for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.

The law would establish guideline for operations of the upstream and downstream sectors.

Senators Nimi Bangha Amange (PDP, Bayelsa East) and Heineken Lokpobiri (PDP) Bayelsa West), said the Gas Flaring (Prohibition and Punishment) Bill specifically should be harmonised with the PIB.

But the Upper House decided that the Gas Flaring Bill should be concluded having advanced to the third reading stage.

In the words of Senator David Mark, “It would have been easier for the Petroleum Industry Bill to have been stopped earlier before scaling second reading, than stop the Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill, which is being considered for third reading”.