By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representativs on Wednesday considered the report of the Petrolum Industry Bill clause by clause.
The bill which is made up if 318 clauses was considered at the committee of whole on the floor of the green chamber.
Speaking shortly after the consideration, Speaker of the House Rep. Femi Gbajabilamila said that the 9th house had taken a major step to pass the PIB after so many years.
According to him members of the committee had worked tirelessly to see to the success of the bill.
“If we want to underscore what this house has done, it would really be hight . I want to commend the 74 wise men for their commitment, their industry, the scholarship in producing this document. This house will be recorded for the long time.
“In the next coming weeks, we are going for our summer break. In the coming week, the electora amendment will follow suit. Irrespective of whatever of the divide we may belong, this house has done great. Thanks colleagues for the feat”
Speaking also to newsmen after the consideration, chairman of the PIB commitee, Muhammad Monguno said that the move was highly commendable.
“Today, the house has written its name in gold, more that the PIB has suffered in the hands of past assemblies. This time, the 9th house has devised to take the bull by the horns.
“We passed it with the speed of light because of the urgency it required. Nigerian has lost a lot. Other countries, like, Angola, Ghana has benefited more because they have brought their laws in line with international best practices.
“The law as passed will engender transparency, a commission to be responsible for regulatory, while the authority will for day to day operations. NNPC will be commercial, devoid of political interference and will subsequently be opened to the public to invest. 5% for host community for environmental degradation, well spelt on how it should be applied.
“We have only about 20 years window, because fossil oil is going. we need to deploy resources to explore it.speaking about host community ambigity during the public hearing, he said that such aspect had been expanded to include pipeline communities.
Mongonu further Clearfield that the committee reduced the percentage derivation form 10 to 5% to meet up international practice.
There is no way you can get all you want. In the course of interaction we discovered that $895 million derived in a year is.
“Experts also advised that oil is being produced everywhere, before investors invest in country, they look at the cost. The more you increase the cost, the more they will go to other jurisdictions, they are not charity organisations”he added.
Speaking also to journalist Benjamin Kalu, spokesperson of the House said that the move was remarkable, ” It was a joint effort. The bill has not come this far before, it was a work of a team spirit. If we delay this bill, we underdevelop our nation. Seeing coming into Act soon, especially when all the thorny issues were addressed, not with rancour, acrimony and more”.