The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva has disclosed that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may be passed into law by the first quarter of 2021.
Sylva explained that he is not saying categorically and conclusively that the PIB will be passed, but going by the pace of work the ministry has seen the National Assembly do, everything being equal, he projects that the PIB will be passed latest by the first quarter of 2021.
In an interview, which he shared via the ministry’s Twitter handle, he said, “PIB is well. But, it is out of the executive’s hand at the moment. The executive completed its own part by drafting the Bill. The ball is now with the National Assembly. The latest information we have is that the draft Bill has already passed the second reading in the Senate. They have sent the draft to the committees.
“The House of Representatives would take up from there and look at it next week. Our expectation is that both Chambers of the National Assembly would go through the committee stages by the first quarter of next year and pass it into law, everything being equal.
“Everything depends on the pace of the legislation process by the National Assembly. If the two chambers pass second readings, and it is just the committees that are left to look at the Bill and hold public hearings, which we believe can happen within the first quarter of next year, the actual passage of the Bill can happen about the same period. We are very optimistic.”
He added that over the years, the petroleum industry has grown more towards the upstream exploration and production sector.
“There is no doubt that the @NNPCgroup of today is way different from the @NNPCgroup of yesterday. We should be proud of these achievements, despite challenges….” —HMSPR, @HETimipreSylva in an interview with @PremiumTimesng, weekend. pic.twitter.com/QdjPUXobQD
— NNPC Group (@NNPCgroup) November 16, 2020
On why the midstream sector of the petroleum industry has been neglected over the years, “It is because the fiscal framework for its development was non-existent. Our expectation is that the PIB will now create the fiscal framework that would encourage the growth and development of the sector. The time is ripe for the industry to produce the jobs that would mop up all those opportunities and sweep all the unemployed young Nigerians from the streets.
“There is no better way of diversifying the country’s economy than through a well-developed oil and gas industry, particularly with the huge gas resources in Nigeria. So, PIB will be the most credible attempt towards a holistic diversification of the Nigerian economy,” he added.
What you need to know
Nairametrics had reported that there is a strong indication that if the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) is finally passed into law by the National Assembly, the existing Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), and Petroleum Inspectorate (PI) may be scrapped; thereby, giving way for the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission to take over their functions.
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is currently under legislative consideration and represents the most comprehensive review of the legal framework for the oil and gas sector in Nigeria since the industry began commercial operations in the 1960s. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), an omnibus law is meant to regulate the entire sphere of the industry and repeal most existing oil and gas legislations.