After a 20-year delay, the much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was on Thursday, July 1, 2021, passed by the House of Representatives.
Speaker of the House of Reps, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, described the passage of the bill as a “landmark achievement,” commending the 74 members of the PIB committee and the entire House for a job well done.
“I want to use this opportunity to underscore the point made by [Mr Mohammed] Monguno. It is to underscore how big what this House has just done today is. It has been 20 years in coming.
“I want to commend the 74 Wisemen, who produced this piece of legislation and who have become the voices of all 360 members.
“This 9th Assembly will be recorded on the right side of history,” the Speaker commented.
Members of the green chamber of the National Assembly unanimously passed the 319 clauses of the report of the bill during plenary yesterday.
Giving a synopsis of the report earlier, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on PIP, Mr Mohammed Monguno, recalled how the bill suffered “several postponements at the National Assembly.”
“This Petroleum Industry Bill is about our economy and it beholds on us members of 9th House so that our names will be written in gold,” the lawmaker said.
He gave the highlights of the PIB, one of which is the provision of a Governance Structure for the petroleum and gas industry in Nigeria, explaining that this would mean the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to NNPC Limited, which would “be run as a commercial entity.”
Mr Monguno also said the bill created a commission to oversee the operation of the industry by ensuring transparency of all transactions, adding that another provision of the bill is the creation of a Host Community Fund to take care of the interests of oil-bearing communities.
A frontier exploration agency is also established in the PIB to continue with oil exploration activities in other parts of the country, he added.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House used the opportunity to restate that even the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill would be passed in the next few days.