Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has stated that the nation’s oil and gas sector was being reformed to curb recurrent corruption, saying that the law applicable in the sector enacted over 40 years ago was no longer supportive.
Speaking at the commencement of a three-day joint public hearing of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Petroleum (Upstream), and Oil and Gas in Abuja, he stated that the 8th Assembly would expeditiously carry out the reforms.
He explained that the petroleum industry is a complex sector, hence, the bill – Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was unbundled into five components for ease of passage.
“As you will recall that the 8th Assembly under my leadership promised to unbundle the PIB bill for ease of passage and to curb corruption in the oil sector,” the Senate President stated.
He further explained that the reform would unleash framework activities and deregulate downstream sector to the advantage of Nigerians.
Earlier in a speech, Senator Kabir Marafa, who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), stressed that the proposed reform would take care of tax evasion, boost revenues and bring host communities into the mainstream of oil activities.
Marafa regretted that the over 40-year oil and gas law in operation has caused loss of revenues to the Federal government, adding that the law was no longer in tandem with global dynamics of oil sectors.
“The reform is to create investment climate, even as the existing law which was enacted 40 years ago has caused loss of millions of dollars revenue”, Marafa asserted.
He said the PIB was broken into Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB), Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB), Petroleum Industry Host Communities Impact Bill (PIHCIB), and Petroleum Industry Revenue Management Bill (PIRMB).