President Goodluck Jonathan last Friday received the draft of the long awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and directed that it should be submitted to the National Assembly within 14 days.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke presented the draft of the PIB to the President before a number of Senior Government officials at the State House, Abuja.
The Minister’s words: “This bill has been 50 years in the making, it has taken a long time. It went through the entire session of the Sixth Assembly and still did not get promulgated into law.
In agreement with the Seventh Assembly, we took it back and it was strictly reviewed again and referred it to be fine-tuned. This is not a small bill, this a capital bill for this country and for our oil and gas sector”.
The Minister noted that the technical team had done their work and that the President and the Federal Executive Council might also wish to have a say on the draft before it is then sent to the National Assembly by the President.
“It is my assumption, therefore, that within the next ten to fourteen days, it will be in the House but again, that is at the pleasure of Mr. President.
All we did is to prepare it, to finalise it and to review it. We, the government stakeholders are to review any bill that is prepared for government to be there.
At this point, of course, government, as it always done, will do the final review and put it in front of the Federal Legislative House for approval”.
The Tide reports that the long awaited PIB is expected to entrench more transparency in the oil and gas sector and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which had been hindered by the non-passage of the bill.