By Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives Committee on Commerce has urged the public not to see the National Assembly as the stumbling block standing in the way of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as is being made to appear in several quarters.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep Sylvester Ogbaga (PDP, Ebonyi) stated this yesterday, while addressing participants at a one-day interactive session on investment in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector entitled; “Enhancing The Oil and Gas Value-Chain” in Abuja.
He added that although, the legislature would have passed the PIB, it however has faced issues of undue interferences from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as the Presidency with regard to intermittent review in the composition of the bill.
“People always think that the delay being experienced by the PIB is caused by the National Assembly which is very wrong. The Bill would have been passed if not for the way both the Executive and the NNPC kept recalling it for content update and modification in line with current trends, so its not solely on the part of the National Assembly as Nigerians are being made to believe”, he said.
Reacting to the issue of enabling legislations for the enhancement of oil and gas value chain in Nigeria, Dr. Soala Ariweriokuma of the NNPC as well as Chris Kaka of the Chartered Institute of Financial Investment of Nigeria (CIFIN) stressed the need for lawmakers in the country to expedite actions on bringing about relevant legislations that would minimize losses and maximize economic gains in the event of stiff competition occasioned by recent discoveries in the oil and gas sector and the review of tax regime in ways that would be favourable to the economy.