Nigerians have constantly made protests against the malhandling of the country’s petroleum sector, especially the lack of political will by the National Assembly, and the lack of concern by technocrats for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, eight years after it was initially formulated as a legal framework to guide operations in the sector.
Several versions of the bill have been presented by the government, the International Oil Companies (IOCs) who formed the bulk of private sector and other stakeholders, to the committees of both chambers of the National Assembly with divergent views that borders on government expected revenue, fiscal and non-fiscal regime structure.
Nigerians have accused the politicians at both chambers of National Assembly of accepting bribe from the international oil firms to stall the bill’s passage, due to the presence of sections in the proposed act perceived as not being favourable to their interest.
The international firms, on their part, have accused the Nigerian government of high handedness in the bid to rake more income from the foreign oil firms. The cost of operating in Nigeria, they allege, would be one of the highest in the world, if the bill becomes law the way it was drafted.
Leaders, technocrats in the kitchen cabinet of the present and past regimes of Nigerian government have given investors assurance of the quick passage of the controversial bill at both local and international forums, but despite these, the bill is yet to see the light of the day.