The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday pledged the House resolve to do all it can to pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) before the end of June.
Hon. Gbajabiamila gave the assurance in Abuja while addressing a delegation of the Experts Advisory Panel of the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter led by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia.
Tribune Online investigation revealed that the Executive has not transmitted its version of the Petroleum Industry Bill to the National Assembly as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari while laying the 2020 budget estimates in October 2019.
The Speaker who did not specify the year, however, noted that the PIGB is on the front burner of the House, hence the members of the Green Chamber would commence the process of its passage soon.
He said although PIGB has been in the National Assembly for years, the current 9th Assembly is committed to putting it to rest.
“I thank you for coming to the House of Representatives. Thank you for your collaboration. These are the things we look forward to. These are the things we need to do.
“The legislature needs to work with you. We need to work together. Oil and gas is an integral part of our economy. It remains the mainstay of our economy, and so we have to work together to protect it.
“It requires us to work with those who understand the nuances of that sector. For the oil and gas industry to develop, there has to be a symbiotic relationship. You have the knowledge and we have the capacity to make it happen.
“PIGB is on the front burner. We intend to start the process soon. We’re hoping that by June, we’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Gbajabiamila added that the House would use the zeal and patriotism with which it passed the Deep Offshore Sharing Agreement law to pass the PIGB.
“We have to put Nigeria first, and that’s what we did with that bill (Deep Offshore), and that’s what we’ll do with the PIGB. On the side of Nigeria and on the side of the National Assembly, that’s where we’re going to.”
Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, who is a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the panel was at the Speaker’s office to seek his understanding and cooperation to pass some bills that could boost Nigeria’s economy, one of which is the PIGB.
He said the panel’s main concern is the implementation of the natural resource charter for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector to benefit the citizens.
He added that part of their concern is focusing on providing capacity to support the Legislature in determining the best way in terms of legislation that would move the oil and gas sector forward.