Shocked by the non-assent of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) 2018, Auwa Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) Executive Director, CISLAC has said it is a big failure for the Buhari-led government and lost of opportunity to reform the sector into global standard one.
The bill was presented for presidential assent in July after being passed by Senate in March.
But President Muhammadu Buhari shockingly vetoed the bill, with the presidency explaining that the 10percent of generated revenue to be retained by the PRC unduly increases the funds accruing to the Commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal capital Territory and Local governments in the country.
Senator Ita Enang, Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly-Senate, added in an emailed statement that “Expanding the scope of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and some provisions in divergence from this administration’s policy and indeed conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalisation fund,” contributed to the non-assent of the bill.
Speaking exclusively to e360 on the development, Rafsanjani said, it was unfortunate that the president refused to ascent to this bill after promising to reform oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Faulting the reasons given by the presidency for the bills rejection, he said “If the government was serious about addressing corruption in the oil and gas sector an executive bill would have been sent to the National Assembly at the beginning of this administration or at least work with the current bill before it was passed by the National Assembly because there is nothing wrong to accept an initiative from Non-Executive member bill.”
He described as “So frustrating and disappointing that the Buhari-led administration has spent its tenure without properly addressing the key important sector of the Nigerian economy where corruption, inefficiency, criminality, community conflict and sabotage have been institutionalized.”
He explained that given the setback to the PIGB, it therefore means that the president, who doubles as the minister of petroleum resources, has nothing to show as a positive reform under his leadership.
“It would have been to his credit if the government has taken a serious reform agenda that would lead to passage and ascent of this bill… more disappointing is the president who failed to take advantage of meeting his campaign promise to positively reform the sector,” Rafsanjani said.
The vetoed bill seeks to, among others, reform the nation’s oil and gas sector by unbundling the NNPC and create a single-entity regulator the national petroleum regulatory commission.
The bill is intended to transform the governance of the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian petroleum industry, and position nation to compete favourably in the global oil industry.