“The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will improve governance of the sector by strengthening institutions in the areas of clarity of structures, roles, accountability, transparency, and overall efficiency and effectiveness,” the President of the Women in Energy Network (WEIN), Mrs Funmi Ogbue declared in a press statement.
The PIB bill is intended to deregulate the downstream petroleum sector, create efficient regulatory agencies, encourage the best practices in the management of the extraction of Nigeria’s oil and promote transparency in the administration of the petroleum resources in Nigeria. It was introduced under the administration of President Umaru Yaradua, in 2008.
Over time, there have been several reviews of the PIB bill under various governments, but none has yet signed it into law; significantly affecting the oil sector and the country negatively. The PIB bill, when finally signed into law, will encourage oil companies and investors to invest in Nigeria’s oil sector, bringing about growth and increased government revenues.
If it’s so great, then why the delay?
For almost two decades now, the bill has been in drafts stapled together with a lot of anticipation and unmet promises. It has failed to be passed into law, due to an inability for previous assemblies to agree when it comes to aspects of the bill.
Five months ago, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva had assured Nigerians that the PIB was currently with the Executive and will be sent to the National Assembly. Fast track to last week, Sylva, during an appearance on Arise News Channel, suggested that his ministry would within two weeks, again, transmit the bill to the parliament.
The nation, entirely exhausted with the waiting, are taking to social media to apply the necessary pressure on the government; demanding the bill be passed into law. Nigerians are questioning President Buhari on the whereabouts of the bill, asserting that it was necessary for the development of the country.
The benefits of PIB cannot be overemphasized. Nigerians know this; even the leadership of the nation knows this, but it seems the status quo benefits some persons. But the interest of the nation must be placed high and above any select few. #BuhariWhereIsPIB
— Ediri Oyibo (@oyiboediri) July 25, 2020
Nigeria has retrogressed because in the past we were producing up to 2.6million barrels a day, a target was set to produce 3million barrels up until now we are yet to be producing up to 4 million barrels a day. This is as a result of no reform in the oil sector#BuhariWhereIsPIB
— Cynthia Anaele (@naijacynth) July 25, 2020
Many Twitter users are also highlighting the importance of this bill to their community, declaring that it would protect the Niger Delta environment from harmful extractive practices.
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has the potential to greatly protect the Niger Delta’s environment from neglectful extractive practices. Proposed regulatory reforms have the potential to bring environmental regulation in-line with international standards. #BuhariWhereIsPIB pic.twitter.com/yKEFllZ4yL
— PeaceTalkWithMercy (@MercyEbute) July 23, 2020
— 𝑺𝒌𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒛 💨 (@plugmanskillz) July 25, 2020
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
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