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Published On: Thu, Feb 6th, 2014

NASS Set to Approve Petroleum Industry Bill

LAGOS FEBRUARY 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream oil sector) on Wednesday said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed soon by the National Assembly.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Peterside Dakuku, in a statement, said that the bill had passed its first and second readings in the House of Representatives and was with the ad hoc committee on PIB.
He gave an assurance that the bill might be passed by the National Assembly before the end of this year.
Dakuku stated this when members of the committee paid an oversight visit to the Petroleum Equalisation Fund in Abuja.
He said, “We are running a democracy where there are defined roles for the three arms of government. The PIB is an executive bill proposed by the executive arm of government. The bill is currently going through legislative processes. It has gone through the first reading and second reading, where lawmakers contributed to the general principles of the bill.
“The bill has been sent to the ad hoc committee on PIB and we are doing a lot of technical work on it. I do not know of any grey areas that have been disagreed on. I can assure Nigerians that irrespective of any grey area, the National Assembly will pass a bill that will improve the quality of lives and guarantee a robust future for our hydrocarbon sector.”
Dakuku called on agencies in the oil and gas sector to be ready for re-positioning on how to fit into the new regime that the PIB passage would bring.
He said, “Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is almost in transition to another phase, which is the post-PIB phase. In the next one year, we expect to have a new legal framework governed by the PIB. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reposition the PEF, otherwise it will find it difficult to survive and perform its functions when the PIB takes effect.
“The need to reposition all the agencies of government in the oil and gas sector is imperative otherwise the country will suffer a new crisis of how to manage new ways of doing things as prescribed by the PIB. PEF must ensure its activities are dynamic and in sync with the aspirations of the Nigerian people as encapsulated in the PIB.”
Receiving members of the committee, the Executive Secretary, PEF, Mrs. Adefunke Kasali, said the fund had been paying petroleum marketers their bridging claims within four weeks.
According to her, the introduction of ‘Project Aquila 2’ was intended to further fast-track payments to marketers within one week.
She said, “We are confident that the one-week payment of verified claims is achievable. By the time we roll out ‘Project Aquila 2,’ which is intended to monitor the movement of products from the depots to retail outlets which will enable us have the required information within a very short period of time, we should be able to make that happen.
“My job is to extend the charge to my staff members to get ready to make that happen and I am sure within a short period of time, we will achieve that feat.”
Source: The Citizen

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