Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NEITI convenes forum on draft Petroleum Industry Bill

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NEITI says it wants to take a deeper look at the new PIB.

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, is convening a national forum to discuss the provisions of the new Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.

The Director of Communications in the agency, Ogbonnaya Orji, said on Tuesday in Abuja that participants in the forum would discuss the relevance of the provisions of the new draft law to the NEITI mandates for good governance and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas revenues.

NEITI is the government agency charged with the responsibility of monitoring and promoting transparency and accountability in the reporting and disclosure by all extractive industry companies of revenue due to or paid to government.

Resolutions by participants are expected to provide the National Assembly additional perspective as members resume from their vacation preparatory to commence debates towards the approval of the draft PIB pending before it.

“As an agency set up to enthrone transparency and accountability in the extractive sector, especially the oil and gas industry, the decision by NEITI to mobilize public opinion, information, public education and data on the PIB is a demonstration of the agency‘s legitimate and statutory interest in the proposed legislation,” Mr. Orji said.

“The outcome of the two-day forum will set the stage for a co-ordinate multi-stakeholders engagement with the National Assembly on the PIB deliberations especially at the public hearing,” he added.

According to Mr. Orji, the Forum would be declared open by the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, while the Chairman of NEITI Board, Ledum Mitee, would deliver the keynote speech.

Key oil and gas industry operators and experts, including the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Mutiu Sumonu, would use the forum to examine the provisions of the PIB from the perspectives of investors, while the immediate past Chairman of NEITI, Assisi Asobie, is expected to address the forum on

NEITI Audit Report findings and the implications for the PIB.

Other Speakers expected at the event include a renowned Professor of Law from the University of Benin and former Group Executive Director, Corporate/Legal Services, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Yinka Omorogbe, who would x-ray the contents of the Bill against the background of institutional, financial and fiscal arrangements.

Leading multi-national companies in the oil and gas industry, civil society organisations, the media, relevant government agencies and the legislature are expected to participate in the two-day forum billed for Thursday and Friday.

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