Stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have reiterated the need for the federal government to sign the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) into law and begin its implementation.
A panel of energy experts made the call during a session at the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) conference which held in Lagos on Thursday.
During the session, Godswill Ihetu, president, Petroleum club, said the bill signing may be further delayed due to the upcoming 2019 election.
“There is the possibility that the PIGB will not be signed by the end of the year and implementation may not start until we have a new government in 2019 and that will be a very disappointing development,” he said.
“Considering the several billions of dollars of potential revenue and investment that the 10-year delay is said to have cost Nigeria, it would be unfortunate if one more year is added to this process before implementation.
“This is the time for stakeholders to put pressure on the government to speed up the process of passing the bill into an act and begin implementation.”
Adeoye Adefulu, partner at Odujinrin and Adefulu law firm, said the PIGB’s timing may affect its implementation.
“We have to stay optimistic because this is the first time that the PIB has gotten to the president. Nigerians have to put the pressure to ensure that President Buhari signs it into law,” he said.
“To prevent any further delay, if the current government doesn’t return in 2019, there must be a commencement date inserted to say irrespective of who is the president of Nigeria, the bill must start running on such a date.”
TheCable Petrobarometer confirmed that the PIGB was transmitted to the presidency on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.