Nigeria Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) still awaiting passage in National Assembly
Alison-Madueke commented yesterday at an interactive forum on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is awaiting passage at the National Assembly. She warned that the development should spur Nigerians to impress it on the legislature to pass the PIB as soon as possible.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, also disclosed that the National Assembly would in its consideration of the bill expunge a certain provision that allows ministerial discretion in granting extension to the three-year deadline to end gas flaring after the PIB is passed.
Represented by the Group Coordinator, Corporate Strategy and Planning of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Timothy Okon, the minister explained at the meeting with various groups in the Nigerian labour movement led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), that the delay in the passage of the PIB had not only impeded growth of the oil and gas sector but had kept key decisions for the sector from being made.
She said: “It is my firm belief that the PIB will put the petroleum sector on the path of robust growth. We anticipate that initiatives such as gas price reform, gas commercialisation framework and gas infrastructure are aspects of the bill that provide the basis for a vibrant economy.
“The global economy is changing and Nigeria must adopt a sustainable economic strategy. I know many of you must have heard of the shale gas and the shale oil revolution. This has literally knocked out Nigeria from the export of oil to the US.”
“So Nigeria must adopt new strategies. We must change our ways and policies that we may hold dear which may cause us economic stress in the future. This market called shale oil and gas has resulted in Nigeria seeking new markets for its oil.
“Nigeria needs to be economically competitive. And from the end of the petroleum sector, Nigeria needs to be energy competitive, and to be energy competitive, we must adopt policies that enhance the standing of the petroleum sector,” the minister added.
The meeting was organised by United Consult Ltd to educate Nigeria’s labour unions on the content and implications of the PIB.