petroleum-industry-billThe Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Peterside Dakuku, has revealed that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly would be passed before the end of this year.

Dakuku, who noted that the bill has passed first and second reading in the House of Representatives, made the revelations when he led members of the committee on an oversight function  to the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board, (PEF) in Abuja, yesterday.

Meanwhile, the executive secretary of PEF, Mrs Adefunke Kasali, who received the committee, said the Board may begin to pay marketers one week after submission of their bridging claims as the introduction of ‘Project Aquila 2’ was intended to further fast-track payments.

Calling on agencies in the oil and gas sector to gear up for re-positioning on how to fit into the new regime that PIB passage would usher in, Dakuku said the sector was almost in transition to another phase, which was post-PIB phase.

He said, “In the next one year, we expect to have a new legal framework governed by the PIB. The need to reposition all the agencies of government in the oil and gas sector is imperative otherwise the country will suffer a new crisis of how to manage new ways of doing things as prescribed by the PIB. PEF must ensure its activities are dynamic and in sync with the aspirations of the Nigerian people as encapsulated in the PIB.”

Debunking any perceived disagreement with the executive on the composition of the bill, Dakuku said, “The bill has gone through the first reading and second reading where lawmakers contributed to the general principle of the bill.” The bill has been sent to the ad hoc committee on PIB and we are doing a lot of technical works on it.

“I do not know of any grey areas that have been disagreed on. I can assure Nigerians that irrespective of any grey areas, the National Assembly will pass a bill that will improve the quality of lives and guarantee a robust future for our hydrocarbon sector.”

Remarking Kasali said “We are confident that one week payment of verified claims is achievable by the time we roll out ‘Project Aquila 2’ which is intended to monitor movement of products from the depots to retail outlets which will enable us have the required information within a very short period of time.”