The House of Representatives has passed for second reading the new Petroleum Industrial Bill transmitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020.
Members of the House unanimously supported its passage after taking turns to contribute to the passage of the bill.
After almost two decades of its crafting in a bid to inject transparency and stimulate growth in the oil industry, the legislation, titled: “A Bill for an act to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host community and for related matters, (HB.1061),” passed second reading.
The bill, amongst others, highlights the proposed the establishment of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission to be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of upstream petroleum operations.
While leading the debate on its general principles, House Leader Alhassan Ado-Doguwa called on the lawmakers to support the passage of the Bill.
Ado-Doguwa said: “Permit me to take the House down memory lane.
“This was a bill that began in the 6th assembly.
“Unfortunately, this bill has not been able to see the light of day.
“Whatever controversies surrounded the bill, the bill is now before us.
“It is my hope that members will look at this bill and ensure it’s passed.”
Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said the bill’s passage was long overdue.
Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, said the bill, if passed, will cure the fact that Nigeria imports petroleum products from Niger Republic.
Okechukwu said: “If we pass the Electoral bill and also PIB, I will say that we have done a wonderful job.
“We should pay attention to this bill.
“We should make sure that all the landmines that will come along the way should be jettisoned.”
Nkem Abonta said: “PIB is one of the oldest bills I met in the National Assembly.
“We are aware that this bill is having the survival of Nigeria.
“This bill will enhance further law.”
Others who spoke in favour of the bill were Sarkin-Ada, Chairman, Committee on upstream; Jide Jimoh; Chief Whip; Mohammed Monguno; Deputy Chief Whip, Nkiruka Onyejiocha; Victor Nwokolo; Henry Nwawuba; and spokesman of the House, Benjamin Kalu.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, while ruling on the passage of the bill, committed it to the Ad-hoc Committee on PIB, which will be holding its slated inaugural meeting on Wednesday for further legislative inputs.