Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday, instructed the Senate Committee on Petroleum, Upstream, led by Senator Tayo Alaosoadura, to prepare and submit the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which deals solely on the issues of host communities and fiscal considerations.
The development came as the Senate passed the first batch of the PIB, sponsored by Senator Alaosoadura, who represents Ondo Central senatorial district.
The first leg of the bill, tagged: Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, 2016, which is in the second reading stage, only deals with provision of institutional framework for governance in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
The Senate President’s directive came amidst protest by Senator James Manager, PDP, Delta South, who, during his contribution to the debate on the bill, faulted the priority accorded the first leg of the bill, whose objectives were mainly on governance.
While also directing the committee, which was given four weeks to treat the bill and submit same to the Senate, he said the second aspect of the bill which intends to treat host communities’ issues must be submitted to the Senate before the four weeks expected for submission of the first one.
He said: “I want to make observations on the comment by Senator James Manager. Clearly, what we have done here is really to make us move forward in this important bill, to see that after so many years, we finally pass this petroleum industry bill. That is why it has been put into different sections. But I want to give a commitment on behalf of our colleagues that this one is just on the issue of governance. Before we proceed into the finalization of this part of the bill, the committee must come up with a bill regarding the issue of the host communities for discussion. I think that that can be done within the next four weeks before we come back for consideration clause by clause. We must bring the bill here on community issues and frontiers so that we can also pass it into second reading and commit it to the committee.”