The Senate Tuesday passed for second reading, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2020 after exhaustive debates by senators across party divides.
The upper legislative chamber consequently mandated its committees on Petroleum Downstream, Petroleum Upstream and Gas, to make required legislative inputs into the bill within a time frame of eight weeks.
It also adjourned plenary for five weeks after passage of the PIB for consideration of the N13.08 trillion 2021 budget at committee levels.
In his lead debate on PIB, the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi North), said the objectives of the bill are:
“(a) To create efficient and effective governing institutions, with clear and separate roles and to establish a framework for the creation of a commercially oriented and profit-driven national petroleum company;
(b) To promote the exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources in Nigeria for the benefit of the Nigerian people and the efficient, effective and sustainable development of the petroleum industry;
(c) To promote the safe and efficient operation of the transportation and distribution infrastructure for the petroleum industry and the framework for developing third party access arrangements to petroleum infrastructure;
(d) To promote the competitive and liberalized downstream petroleum industry that promotes the processing of petroleum within Nigeria and the development of fuel and chemical industry;
(e) To create a conducive business environment for operations in the petroleum industry that enhances peaceful and harmonious co-existence between licensees or lessees and host communities by conferring direct social and economic benefits from petroleum operations on host communities;
(f) To ensure that petroleum operations are conducted in a manner that protects the health and safety of persons, property and the environment; and
(g) To establish a fiscal framework that is forward-looking, progressive and based on a simplified tax administration that encourages investment in the Nigerian petroleum industry, balancing rewards with risk and enhancing revenues to the federal government of Nigeria while ensuring a fair return to investors.”