Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has promised that the he would work together with his colleagues in the green chamber of the national assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, in order to enhance and ensure better oil exploration and production in the country.
Dogara made this pledge during his welcome address at the National stakeholders’ summit on Petroleum industry reforms, organized by the House Committee on Petroleum, in Abuja on Monday.
He said that Nigeria, as one of the richest petroleum regions of the world, has not been able to maximize effectively its immense oil and gas potentials and the revenue accruing from it, due to inefficient infrastructure and inadequate legal framework.
“The result is that Nigeria is both one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil, and one of the world’s leading importers of petroleum products, a dependency that has enriched the elite at the expense of the increasingly impoverished masses,” Dogara stated.
The speaker said that the aim of the summit was to make participants put heads together and find ways of avoiding pitfalls in the efforts to pass the PIB into law.
“This is why we are here today. Most of us have been co-travellers on the journey to pass the bill into law, and have the requisite experience to avoid pitfalls ahead, hence this resolve to seek proper consultation with you and build confidence amongst us,” Dogara said.
He also said that there was no pending executive bill on the PIB on the floor of the National Assembly as being insinuated by the media, adding that he had on three occasions requested the Executive to as a matter of urgency send an executive bill on intended reforms in the petroleum sector, with the hope to avoid the situation in the 6th and 7th National assembly where the PIB was sent too late and could not be passed.
Dogara however said that two members of the house have come up with draft bills. He asked participants at the summit “to familiarize themselves with the bills and make necessary inputs at the public hearing stage of the bills.”
“We also hope that this summit will craft its own version of the PIB for the attention of the National Assembly, taking into consideration all the existing drafts and also the pending bills,” he said.
Speaker Dogara said the House of Representatives is committed to making robust laws that will impact positively on the people and he expressed their readiness “to completely overhaul and transform the Nigerian Petroleum industry, particularly the institutional framework which is believed to be the key to any meaningful reform in the sector.”