ABUJA – The Abuja Petroleum Roundtable (APR) Advisory Board said on Wednesday that it would lobby the Senate for the passage of the lingering Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The board Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Egbogah, who stated this at the board’s annual meeting in Abuja, decried the “undue delay” in the passage of the bill.
APR is a forum established by stakeholders in the oil sector to maximise the benefits of oil and gas resources for sustainable development of Nigeria.
Egbogah in his presentation titled: “PIB: Key to unlocking major opportunity in the Nigerian energy sector’’, said that the PIB was intended to restructure and reform Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The chairman said the 6th National Assembly could not pass the bill into law before its expiration.
According to him, the bill is aim at encouraging investment and improving revenues to the government.
“To prevent further delay, APR has made a unanimous decision to lobby for the bill to be passed by the 7th National Assembly which just has 10 months to go,” he said.
Prof. Yinka Omorogbe of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, said the first time she wrote about the PIB was in 1985 and till date nothing had been done.
“There are many uncertainties in the present draft which can be tightened-up by the legislators, but we need to insist that something is done to push the bill.
“PIB may not be a necessity but reform is what is a necessity, call the bill by what you like, provided it advances Nigeria forward we need to push the bill,” she said.
Dr Andrew Uzoigwe, Managing Director, Millennium Oil and Gas, stressed the need to be more diplomatic in pushing for the passage of the bill.
“We have to start playing a little politics, have an organised group that can carry our message to the politicians.
“We have to meet with the legislators, try to seek their audience and educate them on our positions so that APR can be able to make decisions in the sector,” Uzoigwe said.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, Mr Ernest Nwapa, assured that “there is hope for the PIB that the delay could turnout to be an advantage.”
Nwapa said that the PIB would be passed into law just as the Local Content Bill was passed in April 2010. (NAN)