President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, following the Senate’s passage of the Bill last May, represents a historic milestone in Nigeria.
In a video address posted on his Facebook page, Saraki also emphasized that the PIGB will help to address the perennial scarcity of fuel in the country, once it becomes law.
He said: “Yesterday, after nearly two decades of back-and-forth, near-misses and “near-passages”, the 8th National Assembly finally reached a milestone with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill — otherwise known as PIGB. This is historic.
“Many of you will recall that in May 2017, the Senate took the first step in this direction, and yesterday, the House of Representatives did the same by passing this Bill that is aimed at modernizing the Petroleum Industry and overhauling the entire system – to create a conducive business environment for petroleum industry operations.
“The PIGB will also promote openness and transparency in the industry — by clarifying the rules, processes, and procedures that govern the oil and gas sector. This should eliminate, or at worse, reduce corruption significantly and make the sector more efficient and more productive.
“Most important, with the ongoing fuel scarcity in many parts of the country, Nigerians should know that the PIGB, once it becomes law, will help alleviate those issues that lead to scarcity, such as: the limited supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); the poor import planning schedule that leads to fuel importation constraints; the corruption, diversion and smuggling — that leads to artificial scarcity; and the absence of deregulation in the sector.
“This bridge that we have just crossed, is a part of the commitment of the National Assembly to remain focused, committed, and determined to meet your expectations. Let me remind our people that this is another promise made and kept by the 8th Assembly. With this feat, we have demonstrated that we have the will and capacity to deliver on our key promises aimed at rebuilding the national economy and improving the standard of living of our people.
“Many people people did not give us any chance when we promised to pass the PIB. Now, we have scaled this first major hurdle and we promise to pass the remaining related bills like the Petroleum Host Community Bill and Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill very soon to complete the circle”, the Senate President said.