Reps pass Petroleum Industry Bill

MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AT A SPECIAL SITTING TO MARK END OF THE 2ND YEAR OF THE 7TH ASSEMBLY IN ABUJA ON THURSDAY (6/6/13).

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Petroleum Industry Governance bill through its third and final reading.

The final report of the bill with the long title “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Governance and Institutional Framework for the Petroleum Industry and for Related Matters (HBs. 477, 878 and 1053)” which has 143 clauses was presented to the house a week ago by the chairman of the ad hoc committee on PIB who doubles as the Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

Amongst other objectives, the petroleum bill seeks to introduce reforms that would engender transparency, while at the same time making the oil and gas sector more business-oriented and profit-drive.

If eventually signed by the president, the bill will unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and provide for the establishment of Federal Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated, Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company and National Petroleum Company and Petroleum Equalisation Fund.

The passed Bill is just a fragment of the entire Bill as this aspect is just the regulatory framework.

The bill further provides that upon the recommendations of the new commission, the Minister of Petroleum Resources can grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke any licence or lease required for petroleum or production, pursuant to the provisions of the Act or any other enactment.

The power for issuing and revoking licenses was also domiciled in the commission, as well as allocating petroleum production quotas in a non-discriminatory manner.

The bill, which has spent 13 years in the National Assembly, came from the senate and has now been concurred by to the house. It now awaits presidential assent.

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