Petroleum Act Will Help Regulate Environmental Hazards – Uzodinma

 

Governor of Imo State Hope Uzodinma has said that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law will help to regulate environmental hazards such as oil spillage.

“All the hazards that follow the production of oil, mostly environmental hazards, are as a result of the absence of regulatory environments,” he said on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Tuesday.

“These laws when put in place, will not only regulate the environment but will also create room for value addition both in the oil-bearing communities, the oil-producing companies and government royalties. So, it is going to be a value chain. The benefits are going to be so enormous”.

The Governor commended President Buhari for signing the bill into law, noting that it had been a struggle over the years.

“I must say that the enactment and signing to law of the Petroleum Industry Bill by Mr President is a very welcome development for which we must congratulate him.

“Recall that the past assemblies even before I joined the senate during the 7th National Assembly, made efforts to amend the Petroleum Act which was enacted in 1969 which also became analog but it has not been possible. That the President has been able to break this jinx is a welcome development for which we must congratulate him”.

The oil-producing states in Nigeria are Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Abia, Imo and Lagos.

Read Also: PIB: 3% Allocation Not Ideal Compensation For Host Communities, Says Rewane

 

Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 (Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television)

 

According to a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina on Monday, the President signed the bill into law while in quarantine, after his arrival from the United Kingdom.

“The ceremonial part of the new legislation will be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled,” the statement said.

The Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.

The Senate had passed the bill on July 15 and the House of Representatives followed suit on July 16.

The act is expected to replace the obsolete Petroleum Act of 1969.

With the passage of the bill, three per cent will now be allocated to host communities from the oil companies in those communities.

The percentage has, however, remained a subject of heated debate with many saying it is too little.

The three per cent is different from the 13% derivation fund which is paid to oil-producing communities from the federation account.

Senate Passes Petroleum Industry Bill

Senate President Ahmed Lawan said the bill got the input of both the executive and legislative arms of government.

 

The Senate has passed the Petroleum Industry Bill known as PIB.

The bill was passed during the plenary on Thursday after careful consideration of each of the clauses.

The Senate before passing the bill met behind closed doors with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

The passage of the bill comes exactly 13 years after it was first presented to the National Assembly in 2008.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Court To Rule On El-Zakzaky’s No Case Submission On July 28

On 28 September 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari presented the PIB to the National Assembly for reconsideration.

The Bill seeks to introduce changes to the governance, administrative, regulatory, and fiscal framework of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, in order to ensure transparency, strengthen the governing institutions, and attract investment capital, among other objectives.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan said the Senate expects President Buhari to sign the bill as soon as it is transmitted.

He added that the bill got the input of both the executive and legislative arms of government.

The Senate then adjourned till July 6, 2021.

NASS To Pass Petroleum Industry Bill By April, Says Sylva

A file photo of the National Assembly complex in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

 

The National Assembly will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is currently before it by April 2021, Mr Timipre Sylva has said.

Sylva, who is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, disclosed this on Thursday at the weekly presidential ministerial media briefing at the State House in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He told reporters that the bill would not suffer a setback, going by all indications from the leadership of the National Assembly.

The minister stated that if the nation must diversify from petroleum, it must go in the direction of gas.

He stressed the importance for Nigeria to steer away from oil to gas, adding that the 20-year-old PIB would attract a lot of investments to the gas sector.

On the issue of having functional refineries in the country, Sylva faulted Senator Dino Melaye’s analysis of the proposed rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.

According to him, Melaye is no expert on refinery and should, therefore, not impress his views on an area he is not conversant with.

The minister said the Federal Government remained committed to its promise to deliver a functional refinery to Nigerians in due time.

While the government plans to spend $1.5 billion to fund the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State, several individuals and groups say this will add to the nation’s debt burden.

But Sylva has since doused the concerns, saying the government does not intend to borrow all the funds to rehabilitate the refinery which he said would be functional in 18 months.

In a recent interview with Channels Television, he disclosed that a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd (NPDC) – and others would contribute the money to be used for the project.

According to the minister, $200 million will come from NNPC’s internally generating revenue sources, while the Federal appropriation will put in about $800 million.

He added that the remaining fund would come from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

VIDEO: Confusion As Host Communities Fight At House Of Reps PIB Public Hearing

 

There was confusion on Thursday at the venue of the public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as members of host communities broke into a fight.

The fight broke out when the host communities of Nigeria producing oil and gas were called to the podium to make a presentation at the public hearing which was held at the House of Representatives in the National Assembly Complex.

One of the Itsekiri leaders stood up to speak but was opposed by other members of host communities present and a fight ensued leading to a rowdy session.

Security agents at the hall including police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers had to break up the fight, prompting the house ad-hoc committee on PIB to allow each host community to speak.

READ ALSO: Senate Opens Two-Day Public Hearing On Petroleum Industry Bill

The host communities are an integral part of the PIB.

The PIB has lingered in the National Assembly for nearly twenty years with previous assemblies failing to pass the critical legislation.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila had earlier on Wednesday assured that the Reps will protect Nigeria’s interest and ensure quick passage.

He said although the PIB has been in the National Assembly for decades without much success, the ninth Assembly would ensure that it passes it into law.

The Speaker expressed optimism about the process adopted by the House to engage all relevant stakeholders and noted that he was confident that the Ad-hoc Committee on PIB headed by Chief Whip, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, would do a thorough job.

Reps Will Protect Nigeria’s Interest In New PIB – Gbajabiamila

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the lawmakers will protect will ensure that it protects the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which is being considered by the Green Chambers.

Gbajabiamila said though the PIB has been in the National Assembly for decades without much success, the 9th Assembly would ensure that it passes it into law.

The Speaker, who expressed optimism about the process adopted by the House to engage all relevant stakeholders, said he was confident that the Ad-hoc Committee on PIB headed by Chief Whip, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, would do a thorough job.

Declaring open a 2-day public hearing organized by the ad-hoc committee, Gbajabiamila said the House would do all it can to pass the PIB in April.

He said though it was a national consensus that there should be a comprehensive reform of the oil and gas industry, he bemoaned a situation where “this critical national industry underperforms its potential and our national expectations.”

“For the most part, we all agree on the need for legislative action to make improvements through statutory and regulatory reform. Therefore, it is disappointing and frankly difficult to explain how successive governments have failed to deliver on the promise of reform despite this broad agreement. Ladies and gentlemen, we have an opportunity and an obligation to do better, and we will.”

“We are not oblivious to the fact of many contending interests in this sector. These contentions do not need to result in conflict, especially when we know the objective of national prosperity benefits us all. Therefore, the process of engaging with stakeholders will continue beyond this public hearing to accommodate the diversity of interests and ensure all critical views form part of the deliberations that inform the final legislation.

“Regardless of whatever other interests may exist, for this Ad-Hoc Committee and indeed the House of Representatives, Nigeria’s best interest is both our desired outcome and guiding principle. It falls to this Ad-Hoc Committee to engage in a necessary balancing act in the interests of our beloved nation.

The Speaker added that “This bill has been long coming as the chairman said. It has been upcoming in the last 20 years. Because of contending and vested interests, we have not been able to reach the desired outcome over the years.

“A lot of work has gone into the preparation of this Bill, but it’s not strait-jacketed. The idea of a public hearing is to have interests that may have not been accommodated prior to the introduction of the Bill to lend their voices and to understand perhaps the bigger environment where they are coming from.

“So my charge to everyone that will be participating is not to close our minds or our ears to the views and the positions that may be advanced by various interest groups. We are in a world, an economic world, so there must be interest groups, they will be interest groups and we cannot deny that.

“But what should guide the outcome of what we do here as we accommodate more views will be what will be in the best interest of the people.

“More importantly, we intend to pass this Bill by April. That is a commitment we have made. Some may call it a tall order, but we will do it, and we will do it with every sense of responsibility without compromising the thoroughness of the work that will be done,” the Speaker said.

He said the outcome of the Bill will determine a lot of things such as the diversification of the economy, saying “for you to diversify your economy, you have to invest money, and for you to invest money, the resources you would use to invest and develop your economy, as it is in Nigeria for now, comes from the petroleum industry.

“Whether you believe in the finite or infiniteness of the product, the point that needs to be made is that we need to derive as much profit for the time when the product is still available. We need to derive as much profit to be able to diversify into other areas.”

He said the bill would provide an opportunity for the country to “meet the obligations owed to the communities that host oil and gas exploration and transportation activities and pay a high environmental price as a consequence.”

“There have been various prior attempts to meet this obligation. Let us remember those attempts and be motivated by the knowledge that we can now correct past mistakes and fulfill the responsibility we owe these communities once and for all.”

Reps Determined To Pass ‘Satisfactory’ PIB In Six Months – Gbajabiamila

Gbajabiamila Gives Akpabio 48 Hours To Publish Names Of Lawmakers Awarded Contracts By NDDC
A file photo of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at a meeting in Abuja.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says members of the Green Chamber are determined to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) within the next six months.

He gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja when he received a delegation of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) under the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“On the PIB, there are two things that the House would want to do – first, the House is determined to pass the bill within the next six months, or probably less, because the clock has already started running from the time it was presented,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Lanre Lasisi.

The lawmaker added, “Two, the House is determined to pass a PIB that is satisfactory to all. I know it’s difficult to satisfy everybody, but we will try our best to satisfy everybody,” he said.

He said the House would ensure that it carried all stakeholders along in working on the draft legislation until its passage.

Gbajabiamila also urged members of the OPTS led by their Chairman, Mr Mike Sangster, to avail themselves the opportunity they have at hand to reach out to the House ad-hoc Committee on PIB to make their inputs.

He was, however, concerned about the submission by Sangster that the PIB, in its present form, would not make the Nigerian oil and gas industry competitive globally.

“The PIB has been long coming. Because of the various interests, it’s difficult to pass a bill that addresses the interests of everyone. But the PIB luckily will involve local content.

“I need to ask the question that where were you when they were making this law? Your inputs should have been there. It’s never too late for you to have your inputs,” the speaker told the OPTS Chairman.

In his remarks, Mr Sangster raised concerns about the present form of the PIB, which he said if passed the way it was, it would negatively affect Nigeria’s competitiveness in the global market.

He noted that in the past years, the African continent attracted about $70 billion of investment in the oil and gas industry but only about $3 billion came to Nigeria despite being a major player continentally.

When the Speaker sought to know from Sangster if the PIB had any positives, the OPTS chairman responded in the affirmative, noting that the PIB represented the much-needed reforms in the sector.

Sangster added that in its present form, the Bill “doesn’t provide the environment for future investments.”

He also raised other issues such as the preservation of the oil and gas business in the country, royalties, tax, how to handle NNPC’s outstanding liabilities, segregation of the upstream and downstream, and complexities in the implementation of the bill.

Noting that the petroleum industry had the capacity to create thousands of jobs in the next 10 years, Sangster said, “We would encourage the House to reach out to other sources to have a better analysis of the PIB.”

Amendment Of Production Sharing Contract Bill Will Generate More Revenue, Says Lawan

Photo: @SPNigeria Twitter Handle

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has said that the current move by the Senate to amend the bill on Production Sharing Contract in the oil and gas industry is aimed at generating more revenues from Nigeria’s endowment.

Lawan in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, added that the move has become necessary and the process will create a way for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in 2020.

The Senate President spoke while declaring open a public hearing on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019 which was convened jointly by the Senate committees on Petroleum (upstream), Gas, finance, and Judiciary.

“It has become absolutely necessary for us to do so as a country so that we can generate more revenues from our endowments.

“We want to attract more investments and therefore it is absolutely necessary that we engage in a process that we produce a win-win situation for Nigeria and the business concerns in the oil and gas industry.

“Let me assure everyone here that the National Assembly is determined to pass this bill and of course that will be a precursor to our determination to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill next year,” Lawan said.

READ ALSO: Reps Call For Reforms In Judiciary

Lawan said that the PIB which was first introduced in 2007 and is yet to be passed will have a different dimension that will aid its reality.

“We want to see a situation where the Legislature and the Executive work very closely to have a PIB that will attract investment into the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

“An investment climate that will be competitive; we know we have other countries who have this product, and therefore we have to be competitive, we have to have an environment where the businesses make a profit.

“This is a journey that involves everyone.  We want both governments – and that includes the legislature and executive on one hand and IOCs (International Oil Companies) to work together to ensure that this environment we are trying to create is an environment that will work for all of us,” Lawan added.

He explained that the Senate has resolved to ensure that the Oil and Gas business in Nigeria remain profitable and are mindful of the need to maintain a competitive environment for businesses to continue to thrive.

Wike Seeks Passage Of PIB With Host Communities Component

Wike Seeks Passage Of PIB With Host Communities Component
File photo: Nyesom Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says the passage of the Host Communities Bill aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will give oil producing communities a sense of belonging.

He said this on Wednesday when he received a delegation of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Governor Wike was optimistic about the gains of the bill that when passed, it would address the challenges faced by oil producing communities, especially in the southern region of the country.

“This is an important aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill as it concerns the host communities. The host communities will become a component part of the entire process.

“The oil producing communities are bedevilled by all kinds of environmental challenges. The passage of the host communities bill will give them a sense of belonging,” he said.

The governor further highlighted that the passage of the bill would enhance the security of petroleum pipelines because of the involvement of the host communities in the production process.

According to him, setting aside a certain percentage of funds for the development of host communities is vital.

Wike urged the Senate Committee to also visit all slated communities for the necessary interaction as regards their peculiar needs.

Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, said the Senate attaches importance to the passage of the Host Communities Bill.

He assured the governor that the bill would be passed before the long vacation of the Senate.

Senator Marafa explained that the initiative to segment the bill was to ease the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

“On the assumption of office, the eight National Assembly took it upon itself to break the jinx and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill once and for all”, he said.

[VIDEO] Obahiagbon Speaks On Petroleum Industry Governance Bill

A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Patrick Obahiagbon, has shared his views on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, which was passed by the Senate on Thursday.

The PIGB is the first part of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which the National Assembly has failed to pass since 2008.

To allow for easier passage of the bill, the Senate broke it into three parts.

Obahiagbon responded to the passage of the bill when he appeared on Politics Today on Channels Television.

The former lawmaker expressed excitement over the passage of the bill after years of delay, saying his palate was “titillated” when he heard the news.

Watch the video below:

Oil And Gas Index Falls By 1.21%

Nigeria To Exit Joint Venture Cash Calls With Oil CompaniesThe oil and gas index on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday fell by 1.21 per cent; the day the National Assembly passed the first phase of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill.

Despite this, sectoral decline winning streak continues, with the all share index adding 0.64 per cent to close at 28,467.61 and total market value surged to 9.841 trillion Naira.

Financial Services Stocks maintained their lead in top trades as Access Bank polled over 106 million units in transactions followed by GT Bank and Diamond.

Thirty companies appreciated in price against 14 others as the market breadth closed positive.

UAC properties settled at two Naira 14 kobo, having jumped the most by 9.7 per cent. Livestock ticked 8.5 per cent while GlaxoSmithKline appreciated by five per cent.

PZ on the other hand, declined by 6.1 per cent, topping the losers chart, followed by Mobil and Honey Well Flour.

NUPENG Gives F.G 21 Day Ultimatum To Halt Mass Sack Of Its Members

NUPENG, Rivers StateThe Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), has given a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, to stop the incessant mass sack of its members by oil companies in the country

This was stated by the President of the Union, Igwe Achese when reading out a communique issued by the Central Working Committee after a meeting held in Warri.

The meeting was aimed at discussing issues currently affecting the union and its members especially the mass sack/retrenchment, by the major oil servicing companies on account of the current recession.

After the meeting, the Union addressed journalists on some of the resolutions reached requesting the intervention of the Federal Government in resolving them.

Part of the resolutions in the communique reads that, “The anti-union
postures of the International Oil Companies must end.

“There should be a speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

“Agencies saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Oil and Gas Industry must be up and doing”.

The Union also frowned at the frequent vandalisation of pipelines in the Niger Delta.

It also rejected the proposed sale of the National Assets amongst other issues.

Sacked workers

About 3000 workers have been sacked by major oil companies and servicing companies who are closing shops on account of the current recession.

The Union has also given the Federal Government a 21 day ultimatum to halt the mass sack or face mass action from the Union.

Analyst Stresses Need For Nigeria To Get Back On JP Morgan Bond Index

AdebajoAn economic policy analyst, Mr Tilewa Adebajo, on Wednesday said Nigeria needs to get back on the JP Morgan Bond Index to give foreign investors the confidence to invest in the country.

Mr Adebajo also noted that though the federal government has laid down policies to strengthen the economy, he expressed worry, that “no matter how good the policies are, if the timing is wrong, you will lose the confidence of the investors and the financial market”.

He further noted that it is important for government to articulate its policy on a general level, in terms of the type of policy it is facing.

He went back memory lane to when Nigeria was listed on the index, saying “there was a time when we had close to $25 billion of Foreign Direct Portfolios Investment in the country, but because of the misalignment of these policies, most of these monies left.

“At the time we left the JP Morgan Index – when they gave us the warning – we didn’t engage them and we are paying for that now”, he said, maintaining that “if you want to see $25 billion back into this economy, then we have to take steps to get back on to that JP Morgan Bond Index”.

Mr Adebajo further stressed need for private sector investment locally and foreign direct investment to be able to assist government with the gap that they need to manage.

He also maintained that “one of the key structural issue we need to address is the Petroleum Industry Bill”, adding that “if you pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, then we will see investments, not only in oil, but more importantly in gas, because it is the gas we need to do the power.

“So if you get that Petroleum Industry Bill right, the foreign investors will come”, he said.