The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has given an assurance that the House would do all it could to pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) before the end of June.
According to him, the PIGB is on the front burner of the House and members of the Green Chamber will commence the process of its passage soon.
Gbajabiamila stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at a meeting with a delegation of the Experts Advisory Panel of the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter.
Nothing that the House needed the support and partnership of such group, he stressed that although the PIGB has been in the National Assembly for years, the 9th Assembly was committed to putting it to rest.
“PIGB is on the front burner. We intend to start the process soon. We’re hoping that by June, we’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” the speaker said.
He added, “Oil and gas is an integral part of our economy. It remains the mainstay of our economy, and so we have to work together to protect it.”
“It requires us to work with those who understand the nuances of that sector. For the oil and gas industry to develop, there has to be a symbiotic relationship. You have the knowledge and we have the capacity to make it happen.”
Gbajabiamila told his guests that the House would use the zeal and patriotism with which it passed the Deep Offshore Sharing Agreement Law to pass the PIGB.
He said, “We have to put Nigeria first and that’s what we did with that bill (Deep Offshore), and that’s what we’ll do with the PIGB.
“On the side of Nigeria and on the side of the National Assembly, that’s where we’re going to.”
The leader of the delegation and former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Odein Ajumogobia, said the visit was to seek the understanding and cooperation of the speaker to pass some bills that could boost Nigeria’s economy, one of which was the PIGB.
He explained that the panel’s main concern was the implementation of the natural resource charter for the nation’s oil and gas sector to benefit the citizens.
Ajumogobia noted that part of their concern was focusing on providing capacity to support the legislature in determining the best way in terms of legislation that would move the oil and gas sector forward.