The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says the passage of the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB) will bring about professionalism and accountability in the oil sector.
In a statement on Sunday, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, its director of communications and advocacy, the organisation commended the senate and the house of representatives for passing the bill into law.
Prior to its passage, the bill has been in the pipeline for over ten years.
NEITI said if signed into law, the bill would help replace the existing “archaic” legislations that have aided huge revenue losses “to the tune of over $200 billion” in the petroleum sector.
It added that the PIGB would also bring about “transparency, accountability and investment opportunities”.
NEITI added that a total of over $10.4 billion and N378.7 billion have also been lost through “under-remittances, inefficiencies, theft or absence of a clear governance framework” for the oil and gas industry.
“NEITI is optimistic that with the new governance law for the industry, these huge revenue losses to the nation as a result of process lapses and outright stealing will be strictly checked if not eliminated,” the statement read.
“Furthermore, NEITI notes that the implementation of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative which Nigeria is a key signatory, has over the years been frustrated by the absence of a dynamic law that suits modern business modules and trends in the evever-evolving oil and gas industry.
“NEITI remains convinced that the PIGB when assented to by the president will provide a dynamic governance framework required to re-position the Petroleum industry to fully embrace competition, openness, accountability, professionalism and better profit returns on investments to both companies and government.
“NEITI is encouraged that the national assembly in this particular instance threw politics aside and dealt with the PIGB issue with the attention it deserves. The PIGB now passed and ready for possible Presidential assent is a product of this creative initiative.
“While hoping for early presidential consideration and assent to the Bill, NEITI hopes to work with muti-stakeholders, development partners and the industry to set the stage for informed stakeholders’ engagements to ensure effective implementation when the bill becomes law.”
It also called on the national assembly and relevant stakeholders to work on the remaining legal frameworks in the industry “especially the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and the Host Communities Bill.”