Experts say Nigeria’s oil and gas industry will continue to grope in the dark without presidential assent to the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB).
Speaking on Thursday at a round table session organised by the. Centre for Financial Journalism (CFJ) and Facility for Oil Sector Transformation (FOSTER), a DFID-funded programme, they called for quick action on the bill.
The PIGB, which is one of four bills that make up the petroleum industry bill (PIB), was passed by the national assembly 63 days ago after almost two decades of its introduction.
Israel Aye, senior partner at Primera Africa Legal said the PIGB is key in setting up proper institutional frameworks that would govern the industry.
“Given the impact this piece of legislation will have on the petroleum industry, the Nigerian economy and the Nigerian people, the best the government can do is to ensure its enactment without further delay,” he said.
“The legislation will result in efficient and effective institutions with clear and separate roles, commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities.”
Commenting on the pitfalls of delay in signing the bill into law, other stakeholders said Nigerians have not fully benefited from the proceeds of oil wealth.
“The petroleum industry bill is meant to invigorate the industry through legal frameworks that will work together for the development of the Nigerian economy and upliftment of the welfare of Nigerians,” another industry professional said.
“The national economy will not experience the desired impact from the oil industry if the poor management of the industry occasioned by lack of necessary laws is not addressed.
“Nigerians will not get the full benefit from the oil resources their country is blessed with if the governance of the industry remains shoddy.”
On May 16, the presidency released a statement saying the national assembly had not transmitted the bill to Buhari for his assent.