senate
Senate President Bukola Saraki

Agency report

The Senate President Bukola Saraki says the upper chamber will pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) in tranches.

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Saraki noted that this measure would ensure the bill is eventually passed, having been deliberated on for the past eight years.

He made this known at a three-day Public Hearing on the PIGB organised by the Senate Joint Committee on the bill on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Senate president said the passage of the bill in tranches was necessitated by the need to unbundle its contents into manageable compartments that could be implemented in phases.

Saraki also noted that the Senate was ready to pass the first tranche of the bill, while putting measures in place for the passage of the other tranches.

He added that the passage of the first tranche would further tackle persistent problems associated with fiscal framework and host communities.

“This public hearing is another avenue for us to hear from the operators, regulators, experts and other stakeholders in the industry on how to move the industry forward.

Different approach

“We want to move away from the way things were done in the past during the consideration of such bills, especially fiscal framework and host communities.

“We will push for greater partnership so that the bill will be a win-win for everyone. One that works for government, attractive to oil companies and takes into consideration concerns of the host communities.

”As a nation we cannot afford any further delay in our effort to reform our oil and gas industry.

“The journey begins now and I assure you that we will guarantee that all of these bills are passed in record time,’’ he said.

Saraki expressed concern that though the petroleum industry contributed over 90 per cent of the country’s foreign earnings, existing legal, regulatory and institutional structures in the industry were outdated.

The effects

“This situation has undermined our citizen’s standard of living, life expectancy, national energy security.

“It has therefore resulted in other unforeseen fallouts like labour unrest, fuel queues, high cost of delivery of products and unquantifiable wastage of national productivity.

“The oil and gas industry is yearning for good governance, competitiveness, transparency, indigenous participation and accountability,’’Saraki said.

He further assured the bill would be passed in record time.