The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has assured Nigerians that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, would be passed before 2015.
Mr. Tanbuwal made this known at the 2013 edition of the Oil Trading and Logistics, OTL, Africa, in Lagos on Tuesday. He was represented at the event by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the Downstrean Sector, Dagogo Peterside.
He acknowledged that the prolonged debate on the bill was not good enough.
“The PIB is progressing in the House of Representatives as it has passed the first and second reading without any dissenting voice from any member of the House. ‘The House of Representatives has now set up a technical committee to work on the bill because it is very critical to the Nigerian economy and I believe it will be passed before 2015,” he said.
He also hinted that the diverse agencies regulating the oil industry would be merged into a single agency by the PIB.
”We hope the PPPRA will inherit all the agencies (DPR, PPPR, NNPC)” he said.
Not silver bullet
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Downstream Sector, Magnus Abe, cautioned that the Bill was not a silver bullet that would fix all the challenges in the oil industry.
Also speaking at the OTL expo, Mr. Abe noted that there were more fundamental issues with the Nigerian economy and people’s attitude that PIB would have no impact on.
”The problem in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is inefficiency and poor workers attitude; so, emphasis must not just be laid on PIB but all these issues must be resolved before the PIB is passed.”
Mr. Abe also pointed out that even when the Bill is passed, it would take a great deal of time to actualise it.
”It will take us a long time to actualise the PIB agencies which will have to transform and transmute; so, emphasis must not be based on only passing the PIB.”
Mr. Abe explained that the delay in the deliberation of the bill in Senate, when compared with the House of Representatives, was because the Upper House wanted to conduct another public hearing.
”After the last public hearings, some people complained that they were not allowed to partake in the hearings. However, we fixed another time which coincided with the Sallah break and Hajj and then we had to reschedule it. Hopefully, the next hearing will hold next month and we (Senate) will conclude the bill.”