From the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, came an assurance that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed into law within the next six months.
Speaking when he met with a delegation of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) under the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gbajabiamila assured that the PIB would live up to the expectations of Nigerians.
He also said that the House would ensure that it carried all stakeholders along in working on the draft legislation until its passage.
“On the PIB, there are two things that the House would want to do. First, the House is determined to pass the bill within the next six months, or probably less, because the clock has already started running from the time it was presented.
“Two, the House is determined to pass a PIB that is satisfactory to all. I know it’s difficult to satisfy everybody, but we will try our best to satisfy everybody,” he said.
The Speaker urged members of the OPTS led by the Chairman, Mr. Mike Sangster, to avail themselves the opportunity they have at hand to reach out to the House Adhoc Committee on PIB to make their inputs.
Gbajabiamila expressed concern over the submission by Sangster that the PIB, in its present form, would not make the Nigerian oil and gas industry competitive globally.
“The PIB has been long coming. Because of the various interests, it’s difficult to pass a bill that addresses the interests of everyone. But the PIB, luckily, will involve local content.
“I’m very concerned about what you said that the PIB, as it is, doesn’t allow Nigeria to compete favourably in the global market, we’re not competitive, yet there is the presence of oil majors here.
“We need to look at it, but I think it will be difficult to tell members that we should go back to the old arrangement that we had. I need to ask the question: where were you when they were making this law? Your inputs should have been there. It’s never too late for you to have your inputs. I’m sure the committee will do justice to the other issues you raised.”
Earlier, Sangster raised concerns about the present form of the PIB, which he said if passed, it would negatively affect Nigeria’s competitiveness in the global market.