Abuja…..A coalition of civil society organizations for PIB campaign has condemned the non- passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the outgoing National Assembly before the expiration of their tenure in spite of repeated assurance by key government functionaries including President Goodluck Jonathan that the bill will be passed into law before May 29, 2011.
“We are disappointed that the National Assembly could not consider the Petroleum Industry Bill along with the Sovereign Wealth Fund bill and Freedom of Information bill which is a monumental loss to the Country considering the huge resources both human and capital that went into the PIB preparation and we call on the incoming members of the National Assembly to prioritize the PIB in the next Session”- Said Dr. OtiveIgbuzor, Executive Director Africa Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD).
The PIB was finally dropped by the House of Representatives during yesterday’s plenary because the senate had been running at a snail pace on the bill and was unlikely to concur with the House even if the lower chamber concluded its own part of the job. “This to me is a waste of resources considering the huge amount of resources that was injected by different stakeholders into the entire process”, Said Rev. David Ugolor, Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ). “As we speak, over N481m was spent on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and this amount does not include the huge amount spent by the National Assembly Committees”, Ugolor added.
After all the promises from President Jonathan , the Minister of Petroleum and the assurance from key members of the National Assembly that the Petroleum Industry Bill will be passed into law before May 29,2011, we are shocked and stupefied to hear that the National Assembly sixth session is concluding without passing one of the most important pieces of Legislation that would have stabilized and resolved the uncertainty in the Oil and Gas sector Nigeria”. Ugolor further stressed.
The non passage of the PIB will certainly impact negatively on the Oil and Gas sector as most responsible foreign investors would be scared to invest in an uncertain business environment which the bill sought to address. The Host Oil Communities and all other key stakeholders who have in the last three years worked hard to see that the PIB is passed into law to drive the much needed reforms in key Government agencies such as Nigeria National Petroleum Company(NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR) and others would have been disappointed.
“We consider what happened yesterday at the National Assembly as a temporal setback for the PIB Campaigners as we are not going to be discouraged by the outcome rather we will use the opportunity to reinforce our call on all Nigerians to join the PIB Campaigners to send a strong message to the President to ‘walk the talk’ in Oil and Gas reform in Nigeria”, Tijah Bolton, Member PIB Campaign adds.
For further information contact:
- Rev David Ugolor, Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ). firstname.lastname@example.org: CELL NUMBER: 234 8053080864
- Dr. Otive Igbuzo, Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD). email@example.com: CELL NUMBER: 234 80 33039797