Nigeria has lost $275 billion as a result of the non-passage of the bill into law,since it was proposed 20 years ago.But now the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said following the commitment and disposition of the National Assembly, it has become obvious that the harmonized Petroleum Industry Governance Bill will be ready by next month.
The Consultant to the National Assembly Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, Dr. Francis Adigwe had revealed to the Roundtable on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill organized by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) and the Media Initiative for Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI) in Abuja that “there is little to harmonize. It is not going to be a complex job except that the budget is taking time now.”
Responding, the representative of the minister, Mr. Adegbite Adeniji expressed hope that the bill would see the light of the day earlier than the August that the ministry had expected.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) , Waziri Adio noted that the battle for the enactment of the PIGB has reached a stage that the stakeholders cannot afford to allow it elapse.
The consultant to the organization, Dr. Garuba Dauda, who represented him pointed out that NEITI, is committed to making sure that “we are able to get a law before they pack up the 8th National Assembly.”The NNRC Program Coordinator, Tengi George-Ikoli disclosed that Nigeria has lost $275 billion as a result of the non-passage of the bill into law.
She urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent the bill upon the passage of the harmonized version as it would aid the passage of the Oil Company part of Petroleum Industry Bill
With this development,there are indications that,Mr President may not have any excuse to withhold assent to the bill, which contents are in line with the document already ratified by the Federal Executive Council.