As promised, the House of Representatives on Thursday re-committed and passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).
The lawmakers had earlier assured that they would pass the bill before the end of the Eight National Assembly.
The lower legislative chamber passed the bill on Thursday after removing the provisions President Muhammadu Buhari disagreed with when he declined assent to the bill last year, according to the lawmakers.
According to them, the decision to withdraw the affected clauses in the original bill was because the president’s observations were germane to the smooth operations of the oil industry in the overall interest of Nigerians.
Buhari had rejected the bill, giving the following reasons:
“a) That the provision of the Bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory commission to retain as much as 10% of the revenue generated unduly increases the funds accruing to the Petroleum Regulatory commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal capital Territory and Local governments in the country.
“b) Expanding the scope of Petroleum equalisation fund and some provisions in divergence from this administration’s policy and indeed conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalisation fund.
“c) Some legislative drafting concerns which, if Assented to in the form presented will create ambiguity and conflict in interpretation.”
The four Petroleum Industry Bills (PIBs) were conceived to liberalize the governance structure of Nigeria’s oil industry.
After about 16 years of its introduction to the National Assembly, PIGB was passed in 2018 by the lawmakers but was denied assent by the President.