The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, says the both chambers of the National Assembly it will soon receive the final report on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
While speaking at the opening session of the 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja, Lawan assured that the bill will be passed before the end of this month.
He said the bill was delayed because the chamber wanted to ensure that the concerns of all stakeholders were put into consideration.
The senate president assured that the provisions in the bill was in national interest, wanted to be very fair in listening to everyone in order to adequately address the concerns of stakeholders pertaining the bill.
The PIB which has been delayed for about 20 years, seeks to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities and for related matters,
Lawan said, “In our legislative agenda for 2019-2023 in the 9th Assembly we decided that we must have a better way. We found out that neither the solo effort of the executive nor the solo effort of the legislature could deliver the PIB in the past.
“We now have a better cooperative approach where the National Assembly will work with the administration to conceive the bill through very rigorous consultations and at the end of the day we narrowed down our differences and areas of potential conflict.”
He added, “I think we have been able to achieve that significantly. The speed and commitment the National Assembly has shown in working on the PIB and reaching where we are today shows that we have chosen the right path.
“As I speak, our joint committee of both Senate and the House on the PIB are about to conclude writing the report which will be submitted to both chambers of the National Assembly. Our expectation is that we will pass the PIB within this month of June by the grace of God.
On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the PIB was conceived to encourage investment in the oil and gas sector.
He said, “We are expected to encourage businesses whether foreign, local or community based. But as competing interests try to elbow each other out, it is the role of the National Assembly to look for a balancing Act.
“This is bearing in mind that the most important interest for us is our national interest.”