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PIGB: Review and Summary of Key Provisions, By Hyginus Chika Onuegbu

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The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill as Passed By the Senate:Review and Summary of Key Provisions
BY
 
 Comrade Hyginus Chika OnuegbuJP, ACTI, FCA
CHAIRMAN, PENGASSAN&NUPENG NationalPIB Committee
&
Ex-Officio/Immediate Past Chairman, TUC Rivers State 
 
VENUE: Silverbird Rhythm 93.7 Viewpoint                 DATE: Saturday   June 10, 2017
             Port Harcourt
 

PROTOCOLS!

1.     Introduction

The 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria led by Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki and its Joint Committee on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) led by Senator Tayo Alasoadura on May 25th2017 finally passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) 2017[1]. However, for the PIGB to become law in Nigeria, it must also be passed by the Federal House of Representatives and assented to by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nevertheless, the passage by the 8thSenate of the PIGB, which is essentially the first out of the four parts of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by midterm, is a milestone achievement. This is especially when you consider that the PIGB is not an Executive Bill. Also, when you consider that Nigeria has lost over $235Billion dollars due to its inability to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law since the reform in the Nigerian Petroleum industry was kick-started 17 years ago.
 
 
We however note that the PIGB only deals with the one aspect of the PIB, that is the governance and institutional framework of the Nigerian Petroleum industry, and as such   will not deliver the full benefits of the intended reforms except if the other aspects of the PIB such as the Petroleum Host Community Fund and Petroleum Fiscal Regime are also legislated.
 
For instance, we know that one of the major challenges facing the Nigerian Petroleum industry is host community and Niger Delta issues. Until recently, following the truce of the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo when he visited the Niger Delta this year, the Militant Attacks in the Niger Delta led to significant amounts of shut-in production at onshore and shallow offshore fields and frequent declaration of force majeure by oil and gas companies in Nigeria. You will recall for instance that Nigeria’s 2016 budget was based on Crude oil export of 2.2mln bpd with MTEF projections of 2.347mln and 2.469mln bpd for 2017 and 2018 respectively. Unfortunately, due to the Militancy in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s crude oil export in 2016 only averaged some 1.5mln bpd creating a deficit of some 700,000 bpd in export, thereby worsening her economic crisis and pushing the country deeper into recession, exchange rate crisis, and stagflation.  Therefore, it is important that any legislation to address the challenges in the Nigerian oil and gas industry must make provisions on how to effectively address the Petroleum Host community issues.


Similarly,the non-inclusion of the Petroleum Fiscal Regimes aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may mean that investors will continue to adopt a wait and see attitude, refraining from making any new major investment decision in Nigeria as they are not sure of the economics of their investments. The fact is that it is the Fiscal Regime aspect of the PIB  that will guide the final decision of investors on how much to invest in the Nigerian Petroleum Sector as it has direct impact on the economics of the investments in the Nigerian oil and gas sector vis –a-vis other Petroleum host countries.  This aspect is therefore very critical!

2.     Petroleum industry Governance Bill as Passed by The Senate: Review and Key Provisions

The PIGB as passed by the Senate is not significantly different from the version that was discussed at the Senate Public hearing on December 7th to 9th 2016 except for some few but fundamental changes such as:
a)    inclusion of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF);
b)    enhanced penalty for violation of the orders of the Minister in the case of emergency under Rights of Pre-emption;
c)    increase in the number of the members of the Governing Boards/Directors of Institutions created by the PIGB;
d)    Increase in the experience required for Managing Director of the National Petroleum Company
e)    Reduction in the amount of Government share that should be divested to the public from 30% to 10% before the provisions of Section79 (2) to (5) on Appointment of the Board members National Petroleum Company will cease to have effect.
f)       vesting full responsibility of environmental matters in the Petroleum industry on the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission;
g)    change in the initial shareholding of the Commercial entities;
h)    establishment of the Nigerian Petroleum Liabilities Company;
i)        requirement of senate approval in the appointment and dismissal of the Board members of the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission;
j)        Deletion of the Fourth schedule which originally listed the assets to be transferred to the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company as the Listing of assets in the schedule is no longer necessary as assets distribution has been taken care of in the Bill.
k)     inclusion of Section 55(a) which makes the Minister of Petroleum  the non-executive chairman of the Board of the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management  etc. .
 
Having said that let me present below some brief details of the key aspects of the PIGB:
 

2.1 OBJECTIVESOF THE PIGB:

There is essentially no change in the objectives of the bill between the PIGB version discussed at the Senate Public hearing on the 7th to 9th December 2016 and the Final version passed by the Senate on 25th May 2017. The objectives of the PIGB therefore remain to:
(a)  create efficient and effective governing institutions with clear and separate roles for the petroleum industry;
(b)  establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities to ensure value addition and internationalization of the petroleum industry;
(c)   promote transparency and accountability in the administration of petroleum resources of Nigeria; and
(d)  Foster a conducive business environment for petroleum industry operations.
 

2.2 INSTITUTIONS:

The institutions in the PIGB include:
a)    The Minister
b)    Nigeria PetroleumAssets Management Company
c)    National Petroleum Company
d)    Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company
e)    Petroleum Equalisation Fund
f)       Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated; and
g)  Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission
A brief description of the institution will be presented in the remaining part of this paper.
 

2.3   THE MINISTER:

Section 2 of the PIGB deals with the functions and powers of the Minister, while section 3 deals with the Minister’s Rights of pre-emption in the event of a state of national emergency as specified in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.
 
Contrary to the widely-held view, the Minister in charge of Petroleum Resources is still very powerful under the PIGB, although not as powerful as we have currently since some of the duties of the Minister have been transferred to the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission. For instance, Section 2(1) (h) of the PIGB version discussed at the Public Hearing was deleted in the Final version passed by the Senate,thus effectively transferring the power to grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke any licence or lease required for petroleum exploration or production from the Minister to the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission(NPRC). Similarly, the PIGB states that any regulatory functions conferred on the Minister pursuant to the Petroleum Act and the Oil Pipelines Act or on the Chief executive of the Inspectorate pursuant to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act, shall be deemed to have been transferred to the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC).
Despite the above changes, the Minister in charge of Petroleum is still very powerful as he is responsible for the general supervision over the affairs and operations of the petroleum industry subject to the provisions of PIGB; superintend the transition to the new successor companies and commission in the PIGB; oversee the work of the NPRC and issue general policy directions to the NPRC as long as they are not in conflict with the PIGB; appoint and remove the Board members of PEF; Chairman the Nigerian Petroleum Asset Management Company; vested with the power to issue transfer orders etc. Moreover the PIGB did not address the current situation where the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is also the Minister of Petroleum, in which case, the Minister if he is the President, will also be responsible for the appointment and removal of the Board members of the NPRC subject to Senate approval.
Please also note that penalties with respect to  the Minister’s Rights of pre-emption in Section 3 was, in the PIGB final version passed by the Senate, increased to treat offenders as economic saboteurs . Penalties were increased to require forfeiture of the petroleum products and facilities subject of the offence. Also, the term of imprisonment was increased to 10 years to properly reflect the gravity of the offence as an economic sabotage.
 
As if the above is not enough, the Minister will also be the Chairman of the Nigeria Liability Management Company.
 

2.4 NIGERIA PETROLEUM REGULATORY COMMISSION (NPRC)

The Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) is the single industry regulator responsible for the regulation of the entire Nigerian Petroleum industry.  It is in theory the most powerful institution created by the PIGB.  It will take up the assets, liabilities, functions etc, of the Petroleum Inspectorate of the NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.  Also, full responsibility for environmental matters in the petroleum industry is vested in the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission. Sections 4 to 35 of the PIGB deals with the NPRC. The objectives of the Commission as set out in section 5 of the PIGB include to:
(a) promote the healthy, safe and efficient conduct of all petroleum operations in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner;
(b) promote the efficient, safe, effective and sustainable infrastructural development of the petroleum industry;
(c) ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations governing the petroleum industry;
(d) determine and ensure the implementation and maintenance of technical standards, codes and specifications applicable to the petroleum industry in line with global best practice;
(e) subject to the provisions of this Act, execute Government policies for the petroleum industry assigned to it by the Minister;
(f)    promote an enabling environment for investments in the petroleum industry;
(g) ensure that regulations are fair and balanced for all classes of leasees, licensees, permit holders, consumers and other stakeholders;
(h) ensure strict implementation of environmental policies, laws, regulations and standards as pertains to oil and gas operations; and
(i)     Implement such other objectives as are consistent with the provisions of this Act.
 
The NPRC has power to make regulation in section 8 after public hearing. Section8(4) provides that before holding a public hearing in pursuance of subsection (2) of this section, the NPRC shall publish in at least two national newspapers and its website, notice of it.  It is also expected to invite major stakeholders and members of the public to participate in the public hearing. However the NPRC is empowered in Section8(5) and (6) to make regulations without public hearing, but such regulation shall be valid for a period not longer than 6 months ,unless confirmed after a public hearing. This is excessive power which could be abused to make unpopular regulations.
 
Please note that the NPRC shall have a governing Board. The Governing Board of the Nigeria petroleum Regulatory Commission shall be made up of Eleven Commissioners as the total number of commissioners was increased from 9 to 11, while the number of non-executive commissioners was increased from one to two in the PIGGB Final version passed by the Senate to strengthen the Board. The members include a non-executive Chairman; Two non-executive Commissioners; Four other Executive Commissioners;one representative each of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Environment). Please note that NUPENG and PENGASSAN are not included in the Board as requested by the two Oil and Gas Workers Unions. The appointment to the Board shall be made by the President subject to confirmation of the Senate. The Commissioners shall be persons chosen for their expertise, experience or professional qualifications in the following fields or areas of competence:
a)    the planning, development, production, gathering, processing, transportation, distribution or supply of petroleum, petroleum products and gas; or
b)    the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity or other forms of power; or
c)    Law, regulation, accountancy, economics, finance, engineering or geo-sciences particularly where such qualifications have been developed about activities related to the petroleum industry; if a person shall not be appointed as a Commissioner unless he has graduated from a tertiary institution and possesses a university degree and a minimum of fifteen (15) years post-qualification experience.
 
The PIGB requires that the Principles of Federal Character shall be considered in making the appointments into the Board of the Governing Board. The PIGB also provides that the appointment and removal of the Commissioner is subject to Senate approval. This is a fundamental change from the current situation where the Chairman and Board members of the agencies in the Petroleum Sector including the NNPC can be removed at any time by the President without recourse to the Senate.
 
Also, no later than three months prior to the expiration of the tenure of the Chief Executive Commissioner or any of the Executive Commissioners, the President shall appoint or re-appoint such Chief Executive Commissioner or Executive Commissioners in accordance with the provisions of section 13.
The NPRC however has the power to accept grants and this is very worrisome for an industry regular giving the challenges of corruption and transparency in the industry.
 

2.5 ESTABLISHMENT OF PETROLEUM EQUALISATION FUND (PEF)

The inclusion of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) in the PIGB was one of the cardinal requests of PENGASSAN and NUPENG during the Senate Public hearing. This was granted and the PEF included in the final version of the PIGB passed by the Senate.  The PIGB repealed the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management Board, ETC.) Act, Cap P11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and established the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (“the Equalisation Fund”) into which shall be paid all monies payable to the Equalisation Fund. It also provides for a 5% fuel levy in respect of all fuel sold and distributed within the Federation which shall be charged subject to the approval of the Minister as part of the funding for the PEF.
However, there is no requirement for Senate confirmation or approval of the appointment or removal of the PEF Board members as a member of the PEF Board may be suspended or removed from office by the Minister. Also, the Executive Secretary and Executive Directors shall be appointed by the Minister on such terms and conditions as may be set out in their respective letters of appointment.
There is need for the National Assembly to review the enoumous powers of the Minister of Petroleum over the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) before the concurrent passage by the Federal House of Representatives.
 
 

2.6 ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMERCIAL ENTITIES

The following commercial entities were established by the PIGB:
1.      Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated(“MOPI”), which shall hold on behalf of the Government, shares in the successor commercial entities incorporated pursuant to the provisions of the PIGB . We need to restate that the Country does not need the Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated. This is because the organisation will become more like another NNPC holding company. We also expect the Nigerian State Governors to show interest on how the establishment of the MOPI will affect their revenue as the MOPI will control 40% of the revenue from the oil and gas, and this revenue does not seem to be structured to be paid into the Federation Account. Moreover control and supervision of the MOPI is essentially that of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
 
2.      Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company, which shall be responsible for the management of assets currently held by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under the Production Sharing Contracts and Back-in Right Provisions under the Petroleum Act 1969 as amended. As aforementioned, Section 55(a) of the PIGB provides for a non-executive Chairman of the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company who may be the Minister of Petroleum.  This Section which negates the cardinal objectives of the bill was in the view of the Senate included to make the Minister the non-executive chairman of the Board to reflect government ownership of the assets and government’s non-funding of operations.
 
Other key provisions of the PIGB regarding the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company include:
a)    Composition and qualifications of the Directors. The Managing Director of the Management Company shall possess relevant experience with at least 10 years’ experience at a senior management position in petroleum exploration and production company; Four other Executive Directors of the Management Company who shall possess relevant petroleum exploration and production experience with at least 10 years’ experience at a senior management position; Four non-executive Directors who shall be persons with at least twenty years cognate professional or management experience.
b)    At the time of its incorporation, the initial shares of the National Petroleum Assets Management Company shall be held in the ratio of 20% by the Bureau for Public Enterprises, 40% by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and 40% by the Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated on behalf of the Government. The holding by Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated could be another warehouse for corruption as this is more like another NNPC holding company and therefore not needed by the country.
 
3.      National Petroleum Company, which shall be responsible for the management of all other assets held by NNPC except the Production Sharing Contract and Back-in Right assets currently held by the NNPC. This essentially means that much of what is NNPC today including the refineries, NPDC and the Joint Venture assets will be transferred to the National Petroleum Company. The National Petroleum Company shall not be subject to the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 and the Public Procurement Act 2007.
 
At the time of its incorporation, the initial shares of the National Petroleum Company shall be held in the ratio of 20% by the Bureau for Public Enterprises, 40% by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and 40% by the Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated on behalf of the Government.Notwithstanding the provisions of section 61 of the PIGB, the Government shall within five years from the date of incorporation of the National Petroleum Company, divest, in a transparent manner not less than 10% of the shares of the National Petroleum Company and within ten years from the date of incorporation divest not less than an additional 30% of the shares of the National Petroleum Company to the public in a transparent manner.
 
Also, not later than 6 months from the date of incorporation of the National Petroleum Company, the Minister, after consultation with the Ministers responsible for finance and budget, shall present a request for the appropriation of funds for the initial capitalisation of the National Petroleum Company.
 
The composition of the Board of the National petroleum Company shall include:
(a) a non-executive Chairman;
(b) the Managing Director of the National Petroleum Company shall be a person with at least 10 years’ experience in a senior management position in the petroleum industry;
(c) Four other Executive Directors of the National Petroleum Company shall be persons with at least 10 years’ experience in a senior management position in petroleum exploration and production company;
(d) Four non-executive directors if one of the non-Executive Directors shall be a person with at least 20 years’ experience cognate professional or management experience;
It is however curious to note that the PIGB provides that Notwithstanding the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act or any other enactment, the power of the shareholders to appoint or remove the initial directors, shall be subject to Section 79(4) and (5) and the approval of the President.
 
4.      Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company, which shall assume and manage the liabilities of NNPC and the pensions liabilities of the Department of Petroleum Resources in order not to financially encumber the Asset Management Company and National Petroleum Company established pursuant to this Act. The initial shares or other ownership interest of the Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company shall be held by the National Petroleum Company, the National Asset Management Company and the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission in the ratio of their respective liabilities. The Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company shall ascertain outstanding liabilities of the NNPC  and Pension liabilities of DPR within twelve months of the Effective Date and layout a clear plan and timeline for the settlement of such liabilities, while the Minister shall in consultation with the shareholders of the Liability Management company take all necessary actions to provide the resources required by the Liability Management Company for settlement of the liabilities of the NNPC and the pension liabilities of the Department of Petroleum Resources in their respective ratios.
 
The Minister is responsible for the incorporation of the Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company and will also Chair its Board.
 
There is however need for the representation of NUPENG and PENGASSAN in the Board of the Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company to ensure that the Pension liabilities of the workers are adequately covered.
 

2.7 REPEALS, TRANSITIONAL AND SAVINGS PROVISIONS

It is important to note that the relevant provisions of all existing enactments or laws, including but not limited to the Petroleum Act, Oil Pipelines Act, Hydrocarbon Oil Refineries Act and the Companies and Allied Matters Act, to the extent that they deal with matters provided for in the PIGB, shall be read with such modifications as to bring them into conformity with the provisions of this Act. For clarity, If the provisions of any other enactment or law, including but not limited to the enactments specified above, are inconsistent with the provisions of the PIGB, the provisions of this Act shall prevail and the provisions of that other enactment or law shall, to the extent of that inconsistency, be void in relation to matters provided for in the PIGB.
The PIGB however repealed the following laws: Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (Establishment) Act, CAP P43, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management Board, ETC.) Act, Cap P11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Also, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act CAP N123, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (Projects) Act CAP N124 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Amendment Act N123 shall be deemed to be repealed on the date that the Minister signifies by legal notice in the Gazette that the assets and liabilities of the NNPC are fully vested in successor entities.
 

2.8 TRANSFER OF STAFF

Several sections deal with transfer of staff. However, it is important to note that there is no difference between the transfer of staff in the PIGB version discussed at the Public hearing and the one passed by the Senate. Although some demands such as inclusion of collective bargaining agreement with the Unions, inclusion of NUPENG and PENGASSAN in the Boards of the Institutions in the PIGB, the minimum Five year stay post transition[2] .etc. were not granted, the PIGB passed by the Senate is not fundamentally different from the position canvassed by NUPENG and PENGASSAN at the Senate Public hearing. For instance,  Upon the vesting of assets and liabilities of the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority in the Commission, the Minister shall make an order in writing in which he shall give directions to the management of the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Board of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority for the transfer of employees of each organisations respectively to the Commission and the Management of the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Board of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority shall, without delay, comply with the directions in such order. Similar provisions were made in sections 41, 50, 52, 67 and 76 for the Asset Management Company, and National Oil Company. To be specific:
a)    Section 52(1) provides that any employee of the NNPC transferred to the Management Company pursuant to section 41 or 50 of this Act shall be transferred to the service of Management Company on terms not less favourable than those enjoyed by him immediately prior to the transfer.
b)    Section 76(1) provides that any employee of the NNPC transferred to the National Petroleum Company pursuant to sections 67 and 74 of this Act shall be transferred to the service of National Petroleum Company, on terms not less favourable than those enjoyed by him immediately prior to the transfer.
It is however important for the leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN to begin to engage the Minister of Petroleum with respect to the transition arrangements and also to have a common understanding of the future of the Nigerian oil and gas workers in the post PIGB era.

3.     Developments Since the SenatePassage of the PIGB on May 25th 2017

Since the passage of the PIGB by the Senate there have been some interesting and no so exciting developments.  The passage has been greeted with commendation by many but received with suspicion by others. For instance, many groups and individuals in the Niger Delta have expressed strong reservations over the non-inclusion of the Petroleum Host Community Fund in the PIGB. Some have even described the PIGB as trash[3] because of the non-inclusion of the Host community aspect. Also, a former chairman of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Assisi Asobie, described the passage as Political citing the timing of the passage[4].  Asobie was reported to have said “look at the timing of the announcement of the passage of the Bill. Very close to May 29, to present a picture that the National Assembly has achieved its objectives,”Also, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has raised concerns that there was no specific provision that the NEITI principles be enshrined in the PIGB governance process, adding it is a fundamental error that needed to be corrected[5].
 
Also, indications have emerged that the House of Representatives does not intend to follow the strategy adopted by the Senate in the passage of the PIGB as they appear determined to include the Petroleum Host Community and Fiscal regimes aspects of the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB). The House of Representatives had on June 1st 2017 disagreed with the Senate’s piecemeal passage of Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, especially as the Senate version of the PIGB did not contain how the welfare of host oil communities would be protected[6].
 
We understand that the Senate and the House of Representatives have an understanding on concurrence of Bills passed by either Chamber of the National Assembly. However, with the dissenting voices in the House of Representatives, the actions in the coming weeks will enable us understand how the House will approach the PIGB and whether the PIGB will eventually become law. This is more so, as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has not made any comment since the Senate passage of the PIGB on May 25th2017. This silence of the Ministry is very unusual for a Ministry that is always keen to celebrate achievements in the Petroleum Sector. This may be an indication of the challenges that may arise with obtaining the critical Presidential assent needed for PIGBto become law.
 
Ww will therefore advise the leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN to engage the House of Representatives to ensure that our observations are reflected in the final version of the Bill that will be concurrently passed and assented to by the President.
 

4.     Conclusion

The passage of the PIGB by the Senate on May 25th 2017 whilst commendable will not deliver the full benefits of the intended reforms except if the other aspects of the PIB such as the Petroleum Host Community and Petroleum Fiscal Regimes are also legislated.
 
It is important to recall that one of the aims of the reforms in the Nigerian Petroleum Sector was to have a petroleum industry bill (PIB) that coalesces all the existing 16 or so laws into one comprehensive, all-encompassing legislation, which captures all the experience of the past 60 years of oil and gas exploration and production in Nigeria as well as international best practices[7]. The approach adopted by the 8th Senate is therefore a fundamental departure from all previous attempts at legislating the reforms recommendations for the Nigerian Petroleum sector. The fact remains that as an instrument intended to bring direction to the hydrocarbon sector, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) represents a great opportunity for Nigeria to ensure a solid legislative foundation on which the future of oil and gas operations in the country will rest. The PIB is meant to create a legal and regulatory framework that is 21st century compliant and engender sweeping reforms of our oil and gas sector.
 
There is also need for clarity on the structure of the divestment of the shareholdings of the successor commercial entities to ensure their smooth take-off.  Host communities, Host state government and workers should be given shares as was done in the divestment of the shares of the Federal government in the Eleme Petroleum Chemical Company were the State government has 10%; Host communities 7.5% and the workers 2.5%.
 
Finally, we look forward to the Senate and House adopting a common framework that will eventually lead to the PIGB and other critical aspects of the Petroleum industry Bill (PIB) such as Petroleum Host Community and Fiscal regimes becoming law before the end of 8th National Assembly and this administration. This is more so as political activities will essentially kick-off next year with Political party primaries. PENGASSAN and NUPENG together with their Labour Federations and Civil Society allies should therefore intensify their monitoring and engagement of the National assembly leadership and the Minister of State for Petroleum to ensure that the right thing is done in the best interest of the Nigerian Petroleum Sector.
 
Solidarity Forever
Comrade Hyginus Chika Onuegbu[8] JP, ACTI, FCA


[1]The Senate Public hearing on the PIGB took place on the 7th to 9th December 2016
[2] PENGASSAN and NUPENG insist that  NO worker in the oil and gas industry impacted by the PIB shall be asked to leave service until a minimum of five (5) years after transition. In addition, after five years, the Union must be involved in re-organization/ right sizing cum negotiation of any staff proposed for exit
[3]Saatah Nubari. In his paper titled “The trash that is the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)”
[4] Premium Times of June 8 2017. “Nigerian lawmakers politicising passage of PIB, former NEITI chair says”.
[5] The Nation Newspaper of June 8 2017.” NEITI alleges ‘fundamental error’ in PIGB”
[6] The Nigerian Vanguard Newspaper June 2nd 2017. “We won’t pass PIB piecemeal like Senate — Reps””.Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/06/wont-pass-pib-piecemeal-like-senate-reps/
[7]Emmanuel O. Egbogah(2009). Key Features of Oil & Gas Industry Reforms presented at the 2nd India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference, New Delhi, December 7-8, 2009
[8]Comrade Hyginus Chika Onuegbu JP, ACTI, FCA, is the Chairman PENGASSAN and NUPENG Joint National Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill .A position he has held since 2012 to date. He is also the Ex-officio/Immediate past State Chairman, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Rivers State and former National Industrial Relations Officer of Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN). He is a member of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) ; a Justice of the Peace (JP);a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) trained by the now Akintola Williams Deloitte (Chartered Accountants) . Comrade Chika Onuegbu is also a Human Resources Professional and is one of those that will be inducted into the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) at the upcoming 25th Induction Ceremony of the Institute. Comrade Chika Onuegbu has to his credit some 30 scholarly publications on Labour and Industrial Relations some of which are published in leading journals such as the Nigerian Journal of Labour Law & Industrial Relations etc. His paper on the Minimum wage is published in the archives of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. Many of his papers can be downloaded free from his Academia page https://yorksj.academia.edu/chikaonuegbu .He can be reached on: Tel 08037404222/ Email: chikaonuegbu@yahoo.com. For more information on Comrade Chika Onuegbu please refer to the book- The Courage to Stand: The Story of Comrade Chika Onuegbu by veteran journalist Mr Ignatius Chukwu.

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