Deliberations on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly has been shifted to the first quarter of next year, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said.
At the sidelines of the Joint Executive-Legislature Leadership Retreat at the Presidential Villa Banquet Hall in Abuja, Sylva told journalists that the National Assembly said they need to work on the 2021 Appropriation Bill.
This, according to him, was one reason why deliberations on the PIB had to be shifted, adding that the lawmakers explained that the 2021 Appropriation Bill needed to be ready before January next year.
“What the National Assembly has told us in our engagement with them is that the PIB, which is a very important piece of law, is coming at a time when they will be considering the Appropriation Bill,” the minister said.
He added, “And you know that this Appropriation Bill will be passed before the first of January.”
“So, they have to focus on the Appropriation Bill at this time. I think that is going to delay deliberations on the PIB till the first quarter of next year.”
According to a report by The Punch, Sylva expressed the belief that the bill would be passed in the first quarter of next year because there was consensus around the passage of the PIB.
Background: Business Metrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari had submitted the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the National Assembly by September 27.
The presidency also assured that the oil reform bill would be out as soon as possible to boost output and attract foreign investment into the sector.
Passage of the PIB, which has taken two decades in the making, has become imperative this year as low oil prices and a shift towards renewable energy have made competition tougher to attract investment from international oil majors.
Among other major changes, the president has proposed in the bill the scrapping of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).