- The Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB seeks to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry
- The Nigerian Senate officially passed the long-awaited PIB on Thursday, July 1 amidst protests from some quarters
- A harmonised version of the bill was passed on Thursday, July 15 but there were still protests by some senators
FCT, Abuja - The Senate on Thursday, July 15 passed the harmonised Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which was produced by a conference committee of both chambers of the National Assembly last week.
The harmonised version of the PIB was submitted for consideration by the federal lawmakers on Thursday at the plenary.
How the PIB was harmonised amid protests
The Punch newspaper reports that prior to the approval of the proposed legislation through voice votes, senators from the south-south geopolitical zone protested against the proposed three percent equity share for the oil host communities.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, however, prevailed on Senator Seriake Dickson to back down on his threat to lead his colleagues to stage a walkout.
Explaining why the five percent was reduced to three percent shortly after the plenary, the chairman of the Senate committee on petroleum resources (downstream), Senator Sabo Mohammed Nakudu noted that the earlier percentage which was 2.5 was increased to five percent.
He added that it was reduced after the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari explained that five percent was a huge amount of money.
He added that the enabling environment needed to be created to attract investors because fossil oil was fast going out of fashion.
PIB still opposed by some stakeholders
Meanwhile, ThisDay newspaper reports that the federal ministry of industries, trade, and investment has raised the alarm over strange proposed sections in the PIB.
The ministry, in a submission to the National Assembly, stated that if passed, the bill will compound the culture of secrecy and lack of transparency in the oil sector, thereby negating the global best practices.
In a related development, the South-South Emerging Leaders' Forum (SELF) has said that it was not by accident that the long-awaited PIB was passed under the leadership of the minister of state for petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva.
The forum said Sylva's name has come to occupy a chapter in the contemporary history of Nigeria based on the empirical indices of his nationalistic, patriotic, and detribalised values and contributions to national cohesion and development in general.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, July 6, by its national coordinator Comrade Benjamin Kolowei, said the forum is proud of Sylva's achievements as a public officeholder since he joined politics.
In March 2021, SELF expressed happiness over the approval of $1.5 billion (about N600 billion) by the Federal Executive Council for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
The forum described the news as exciting even as it commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Sylva.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, March 18, the forum said fixing the refinery will positively impact the economic activities in the south-south region.