PIB: COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS CONDEMNS NON-PASSAGE OF PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL

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PRESS RELEASE

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). david@aneej.org: CELL NUMBER: 234 8053080864
  • Dr. Otive Igbuzo, Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD). otiveigbuzor@yahoo.co.uk: CELL NUMBER: 234 80 33039797

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