The House of Representatives will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law in April this year, House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said on Wednesday.
Gbajabiamila stated this in his opening remarks at the ongoing public hearing on the proposed legislation organised by the House Ad-hoc Committee on PIB.
“We intend to pass this bill by April. That is the commitment we have made. Some may consider it a tall order, but we will do it without compromising the thoroughness,” he said.
Gbajabiamila’s assurance is coming two days after Senate President Ahmad Lawan assured that the passage of and assent to the much-awaited PIB would take place before the end of May.
If passed into law, the PIB would turn around Nigeria’s economic fortunes as it will encourage competition and boost the country’s revenue base, heads of Federal Government agencies said in their separate remarks at the public hearing.
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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva expressed happiness that after 20 years of the PIB’s introduction to the National Assembly, both the Senate and the House have shown sustained determination to pass the Bill into law.
Mele Kyari, group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said the passage of the Bill into law would bring about the needed vigour and transparency that would in turn engender productivity in the petroleum industry.
Mohammed Nami, chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said the Bill when passed into law would promote economic growth and make the petroleum sector competitive.
“FIRS is in total support to develop the oil and gas industry in line with the international best practices,” he said.
Titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Communities and for Related Matters (HB. 1061)’, the PIB was transmitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020 and it passed second reading in both chambers last year.