The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC) has commended the two chambers of the National Assembly in the 9th Assembly for passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
CISLAC Executive Director and Head, Transparency International Nigeria (TI-Nigeria) Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said this on Friday in Abuja.
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He recalls that in response to intense campaign and advocacy by several groups in civil society, including CISLAC and her partners, the National Assembly passed the PIB, which is and remains the Bill drafted to provide clear legal framework to regulate the oil and gas sector for some certainty, transparency and accountability necessary for investments and maximization of benefit for Nigerians.
“We are encouraged by the action of the National Assembly which we believe has re-kindled the hope that this elusive and all-important law could see the light of day in the life of this administration.
“CISLAC reminds the Federal Government that the passage of this law was a campaign promise made upon election in 2015 and had been repeated over the past six years in various forms. Indeed, by the schedule of the much publicised ‘7 Big Wins’, it ought to have been passed since December 2016,” Rafsanjani said.
He also said that the Federal Government should remember the trillion of Naira lost, 20 years of uncertainty created and subsequent loss of investor confidence and investments with all its attendant implication to the sector Nigeria depends on for over 80 percent of its foreign exchange and about 92 percent of government earnings.
He said, “CISLAC therefore calls on the Legislative and administrative sects of the National Assembly to complete the process necessary for the bill to be submitted to the President for assent.”
He also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to upon receipt of the Bill, assent to it without delay as a mark of integrity to fulfil his long standing promise to Nigerians, demonstrate of his commitment to sanitizing the oil and gas sector, notorious for corruption.
Rafsanjani said that this would also make a mark that will negate insinuations that his refusal to assent to the PIB is linked to aspiration of retaining discretionary powers for the office of the Minster of Petroleum Resources, which he currently occupies, to among others, award oil licenses.