The Nigeria Senate on Thursday passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), 14 years after the original Petroleum Industry Bill was submitted to the National Assembly.
The bill unbundles the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) and merged its subsidiaries into a single entity.It seeks to introduce reforms that would enhance transparency and accountability in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Before the passage on Thursday,the report of the Joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream and Gas) on the PIGB had been adopted by the Senate at the plenary on Wednesday.
Senator Tayo Alasoadura who is the Chairman of the committee told the Senate some subsidiaries of the NNPC had been merged into an entity called Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission(NPRC). Alasoadura is also the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Petroleum.
NPRC has the responsibility of promoting efficient, effective, safe and sustainable infrastructural development of the industry.It will ensure implementation and maintenance of technical standards, codes and specifications in the industry.The commission will retain 10 per cent of the revenue it generates as the cost of collection.
Speaking on the passage, Senate president, Bukola Saraki,said the bill was not only important to Nigeria , but also foreign investors in the petroleum sector.
Saraki said, “This is a bill that not only Nigeria, but our friends and investors in the petroleum sector have been waiting for us to put a framework that will ensure transparency and accountability, and create an enabling environment for the petroleum sector to stimulate growth in the sector.
“We hope that by what we have done today, we will continue to show the kind of commitment and leadership and contribution to develop this country. We are proud of what we have all done today. We gave the commitment and we have passed this bill. It had not been possible for many years but we have done it now.
“I hope that with this bill, the oil and gas industry will begin to see the new kind of investments that is necessary. We will plug the loopholes; we will be able to reduce the areas of corruption and inefficiency; our people will be able to benefit better in the petroleum sector and Nigerians will be better for it,” the senate president said.