The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Nigeria’s flagship NGO on the legislature, has described the passage of the long awaited Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill, (PIGB), a giant stride. The passage is coming after over twelve years of protracted engagement with it across different legislative sessions of the Senate. CISLAC is saying the task for the Senate now is to ensure speedy completion of process.
It said in a statement signed by Auwal Ibrahim Musa, aka Rafsanjani, the Executive Director that the bill as passed reflected many of the proposals put forward by civil society, including CISLAC and her partners during the Public Hearing on it, especially the unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), so that it does not combine commercial role with her regulatory functions, among others.
Recalling its reservations about the splitting of the Bill initially because of the fear that the other components may never be attended to, CISLAC is now reminding the National Assembly that the Bill has left out fiscal issues which remains the most important aspect of the old PIB. The NGO calls on the Nigerian Senate to immediately commence work on the outstanding parts on which the passed Bill is silent as it had promised, pointing out that such is the only way to demonstrate trustworthiness and sustain confidence of Nigerian people. “We also call on the House of Representatives to, as a matter of urgency, consider the Bill. Alternatively, we urge the House to adopt the Senate version to conclude the legislative process for onwards assent by the President”.
Expressing its belief that the bill provides an appropriate legal and regulatory framework for the oil and gas sector, it called on the Presidency to promptly assent to the bills whenever transmitted. CISLAC which has worked on different aspects of the oil industry from the point of view of legislative advocacy referred the legislature to how commitment to the bill has already been reflected in the Federal Government’s Short and Medium Term Priorities to grow Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry 2015–2019, otherwise the “7 Big Wins” with a time lapse at the first quarter of 2017.