PIB: CISLAC commends NASS, advises Buhari

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy, CISLAC has commended the two chambers of the National Assembly in the 9th Assembly for making a mark by passing the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.

This was made known in a statement, signed by Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director, CISLAC and Head – Transparency International Nigeria, and made available to NEWSDIARYONLINE on Friday.

CISLAC recalled that in response to intense campaign and advocacy by several groups in civil society, including CISLAC and its partners, the National Assembly passed the PIB, which is and remains the Bill drafted to provide clear legal framework to regulate the oil and gas sector to provide some certainty, transparency and accountability necessary for investments and maximization of benefit for Nigerians.

“We are therefore encouraged by the action of the National Assembly which we believe has re-kindled the hope that this elusive and all-important law could see the light of day in the life of this administration”,CISLAC said.

CISLAC reminded the Federal Government that the passage of this law was a campaign promise made upon election in 2015 and had been repeated over the past 6 years in various forms. Indeed, by the schedule of the much publicised 7 Big Wins, it ought to have been passed since December 2016, the group said.

According to the civil society group, “It will be unnecessary to remind the Federal Government of the trillions of Naira lost, 20 years of uncertainty created and subsequent loss of investor confidence and investments with all its attendant implication to the sector Nigeria depends on for over 80% of its foreign exchange and about 92% of government earnings.”

CISLAC therefore called on the Legislative and administrative sects of the National Assembly to complete the process necessary for the bill to be submitted to the President for Assent. This, the group said, will further assure Nigerians of the NASS commitment to ensure that the PIB is passed into law during this legislative session to end the 20-year wait for reforms and clear policy and legislative direction for the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

“We call on the President, upon receipt of the Bill, to assent to it without further delay as a mark of integrity to fulfil a long standing promise to Nigerians, demonstrate of his commitment to sanitizing the oil and gas sector, which is notorious for corruption and making a mark that will negate the insinuations that his refusal to assent to the PIB will be linked to the aspiration of retaining discretionary powers for the office of the Minster of Petroleum Resources, which he currently occupies, to award oil licenses,”CISLAC said.