March 21, 2022

House of Representative Delivers some Headway in Reducing Wastage and Limiting Corruption in the Petroleum Sector

Promise: Ensure passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to improve efficiency, reduce wastage and limit corruption in the petroleum sector

Abiola Durodola
Last Updated
March 21, 2022
min read

Over the years, the management of the oil and gas sectors, both the downstream and the upstream sector has been a subject of debate among major players in Nigeria’s oil industry. With the obsoleteness of extant petroleum-related laws, including the Petroleum Act of 1969 and the volatility of oil prices globally, experts and stakeholders have underscored the importance of the passage of a new Act.

Since the assumption of office, lawmakers at the House of Representatives (HoR) made the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as part of its immediate-term intervention for the economy. The HoR through its legislative agenda pledges to “ensure passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to improve efficiency, reduce wastage and limit corruption in the petroleum sector.”

The bill, which was not passed by the previous administration of lawmakers due to political and regional interests, was eventually passed by this current administration. Despite the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the Yakubu Dogara-led HoR in 2018, President Muhammad Buhari refused to assent to the bill, failing to make it an act of law.

In the 9th assembly, the bill was represented to the house by the executive arm and passed the first reading on September 29, 2020. It was fast-tracked and presented for second reading on November 24, 2020, before it was forwarded to the House Ad-hoc Committee on PIG Bill.

However, the HoR missed the set deadline of the bill (May 1, 2021) with the bill scaling the third reading before the final passage on August 6, 2021. After its passage, the speaker Femi Gbajabiamila noted that the passage is historic after over 12 years of delay in making the bill a law.

“I want to underscore how big, what this committee has just done because this has been going on for 20 years. I want to commend the 74 wise men whose work product has now become the work product of 360 men. I want to commend these men and women for their commitment, industry, and scholarship in producing this 318-section law. This 9th Assembly will be recorded on the right side of history,” said Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila while commending the lawmakers on the passage of the bill.

While the passage of the bill became a landmark in the country’s petroleum industry; factors such as malignment of interest, stiff opposition by host communities, and other pushbacks which have stalled its previous passage in 2009, 2012, and 2018 once again surfaced, thereby failing to meet the deadline set by the lawmakers in the legislative agenda document.

Due to all of the political undertones, we rate this promise, Compromise.