PASSING OF THE PETROLEUM INDISTRY BILL BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Fellow Nigerians, it is good news to hear that the National Assembly today passed the Petroleum Industry Bill after many years of waiting and back and forth from the National Assembly. You may recall that the Bill was passed by the last Assembly without assent by the President, necessitating a review of the Bill and it was represented to the National Assembly by the executive. The Centre for Transparency Advocacy congratulates Nigerian especially, the civil society, media, host communities and donor agencies that gave their supports leading to the achievement of this result which is a positive step towards having a reform petroleum industry.
Generally, we are happy that sections, 83, 104 to 108 of the new Bill (the House of Representatives version) makes provisions for contract transparency, disclosure, and outlaws gas flaring, provides 5 % operational cost for host communities, however, did not take recognizance of gender, host are still held responsible for any kind of sabotage to oil facilities.
Section 83 sub 3-5 on contract transparency provides that ;3(a) the text of any existing contract, licence or lease and any amendment or side letter with NNPC shall – A) not be confidential.
Section 104 of the Bill makes gas flaring an offence except in the case of emergency exemption granted by the Commission or for an acceptable safety practice. Offenders are liable to a fine and the fine will be used for investment in midstream gas infrastructure within the host community on which the penalties are levied.
we noted that not a single word of gender was mentioned in the Bill, however, the word women were mentioned once in relation to host communities needs assessment.
The first hurdle has been crossed, we expect the leadership of both arms of the National Assembly to quickly harmonize their versions of the passed Bil and send same to the President for his assent.
In the same manner, we charge the President to assent to the bill as soon as it comes your desk in fulfilment of your electoral promise to Nigerians and your commitment to a better managed petroleum sector.
The Centre for Transparency Advocacy, therefore, calls on citizens and the civil society not to rest on their oars until this twenty-year journey struggle is concluded and to serve as watchdogs and monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Bill as soon as it is signed into law by the president.
Executive Director, CTA
For Further Information Contact
Centre for Transparency Advocacy
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Ubiaja Crescent, Garki 2, FCT, Abuja