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Business News of Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Source: Economic Confidential

Lawmakers to consider PIB next Tuesday — Gbajabiamila

The House of Representatives has slated the Petroleum Industry Bill, 2020 for a second reading on Tuesday next week, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has disclosed.

The Speaker made the disclosure on Wednesday in plenary, while calling for all motions concerning floods across the country, to be consolidated by the Rules and Business Committee.

President Muhammadu Buhari had three weeks ago, returned the oil-and-gas sector reforms Bill to the National Assembly, after several attempts to make it law in Nigeria failed.

President Muhammadu Buhari had three weeks ago, through a letter, urged the House of Representatives, to speedily pass the Petroleum Industry Bill for his assent into law.

In a letter entitled: “Transmission Of The Petroleum Industry Bill 2020 For Consideration And Passage Into Law”, the President sought a speedy consideration of the 14-year old Bill.

The Bill was first presented before the National Assembly in 2006 and has been through bottlenecks since then.

It reads in parts:” Pursuant to Section 58 of Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I formally request the consideration and passage into law by the House of Representatives the Petroleum Industry Bill 2020.

“In particular, the House of Representatives Bill combines in a single tone, aspects of significant reforms to the laws governing the Nigerian Petroleum Industry that were previously set out in two distinct drafts legislation, namely, the Petroleum Industry Bill 2020 and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill 2020.

It was reported months ago that the House had set up a 32-member committee headed by House Whip, Muhammed Monguno, to look at the Bill once again and bring it to the House for speedy passage

Experts, and stakeholders in the oil and gas sector at a conference last week, also tasked members of the 9th National Assembly on the need to expedite action in passing the recently transmitted Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The experts who converged in Abuja on Monday, to suggest ways forward regarding the necessity of having an early passage of the bill, also stressed the need for an efficient and commercially structured National Oil Company (NOC), as well as the determination to create different economies using proceeds from the oil and gas sector.

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