The House of Representatives says it would pass a more holistic Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that will encompass interests of host communities and fiscal regulation of the oil industry, reports News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Victor Nwokolo (Delta-PDP), Chairman of the House Committee, Petroleum Upstream, stated this on Thursday, while speaking to journalists at the sideline of a workshop organised by the committee for House members on the bill.
Nwokolo said that the lower chamber of the National Assembly would begin the consideration of the bill in a few days and that it would be given accelerated hearing.
He explained that the bill recently passed by the Senate was only one-third of the entirety of the document before the national assembly.
According to him, the committee decided to organise the workshop to bring the lawmakers up-to-date on what the house has done in respect of the PIB in the past.
“The bill has gone through first reading and by next week, it will go through second reading and will be given accelerated attention that it requires,” he said, adding “It is true, like you said, it has been passed in the Senate, but what the Senate has done, they have only taken a fraction of it, only one-third of it; what is referred to as the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) is what they have passed.”
He said in the case of the House of Representatives, it would be taken holistically.
“Like you read in the newspapers, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Ijaw National Congress (INC) say that they do not agree with what the Senate has done, because the issue of host communities has not been addressed.
“If you are also following the proceedings in the House of Representatives, you will agree with me that we are taking it holistically, because we have dealt with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB). We have also gone through the fiscal and the host community bill, so we are taking it holistically, so that no section of it will be left out,” he explained.
Nwokolo stated that the house resolved to treat the bill holistically in consideration of what had happened and what was obtainable in other parts of the globe where petroleum was a natural resource.
He listed Alaska, Mexico and Venezuela as some of the countries the house used as case study, where host communities were all stakeholders.
By Business a.m. live staff