Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
House of Representatives has said barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
House Ad-hoc Committee Chairman on the PIB, Tahir Monguno, stated this, yesterday, during an inaugural meeting of the committee.
The PIB, which was transmitted to the House by President Muhammadu Buhari in September, was passed for second reading on Tuesday. Monguno, who is also the chief whip, said the parliament would expedite action on the passage of the bill to enable the country maximise the potential in the oil industry.
He expressed regrets that the National Assembly has not been able to pass the bill, which was first introduced in 2007.
“Commercial exploration (of oil) may only last for another 25 years. But the entire world is focusing on research to develop renewable energy that could turn out to be cheaper and environmentally friendly. That is why it has become expedient, more than ever, to leverage on this window of opportunity that the oil exploration present to us by ensuring the PIB is passed without further delay.
“In spite of the efforts of the past administrations to diversify our mono economy, the oil industry still remain the mainstay of our country. Every time there is fluctuation in the price of crude oil, all other sectors of our national lives suffer,” he said.
Monguno expressed optimism that the bill, when passed into law, will transform the oil industry and attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country.
“This bill is long overdue, there is need for us to tap from this limited windows of opportunity that we have to maximise the potentialities in our oil industry with a view to unlocking them to meet other infrastructure needs.
“All things been equal, we intend to pass this bill before the end of the first quarter of next year…,” he said.