President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his commitment to reform the oil and gas sector, pointing out that effectively reforming the petroleum industry must be meticulous and designed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.
Buhari stated this yesterday at the Presidential Villa when he received the newly-inaugurated national executive committee members of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) led by its National President, William Akeoraha.
According to him, “Such reforms cannot and must not be rushed if we must get it right. We are still suffering from the effects of many legacy policies that were rushed and passed without fully appreciating the consequences of the provisions embedded in them.” He added that “whatever decision we take now will impact either negatively or positively on generations to come.”
“The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was conceived to ensure Nigeria’s future generations are positively impacted by its oil wealth, and that it was never about short term gains.” Buhari assured them that dialogue on the PIB is still ongoing and that at the end, the country would have a bill that the people would be proud of.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on his own part said he is confident the multiple facets of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed into law before the end of the current assembly, which will end on 9 June 2019 with a federal election.
Speaking at an Invest Africa question-and-answer session in London last night, Vice-President Osinbajo said that delays to the bill were caused by concerns among the states about a possible reduction in revenues under the fiscal regulation bill, as well as issues with the host communities bill.
However, he said that amendments have been made which he hopes have “put those concerns to rest”. The PIB has been debated and amended in both houses of the Nigerian parliament for 17 years and now awaits assent from President Muhammdu Buhari.