Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas Resources and the sponsor of Gas Flaring (Prohibition and Punishment) Bill 2017, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, has summoned international and local oil companies operating in the country to appear before a public hearing committee, The Sun reports.

Senator Akpan who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, said when passed into law by the National Assembly, the bill is expected to revolutionise the oil and gas sector. The bill, which was first read in the Senate chambers on November 3, 2016, passed through the second reading stage on Thursday, March 9, 2017 after a successful debate.

According to Senator Akpan, the purpose of the public hearing on the Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill is to receive contributions of the general public and industry stakeholders to the bill to ensure a holistic and effective implementation of the Act when eventually passed into law.

He explained that the bill will, among others, seek to increase gas flaring penalty to an appropriate level to de-incentivise the practice of gas flaring while introducing other market measures to encourage efficient utilisation of gas. The bill, he also said, will make it mandatory for operators to submit gas utilisation plans within 90 days of the commencement of the Act for effective monitoring.