As the oil and gas industry in Nigeria continue to process the implications of President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) 2018, CISLAC has said the action is capable of discouraging the National Assembly from passing other components of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“We note that the refusal to assent to this Bill can become a dis-incentive and excuse for the NASS to discontinue with the efforts to pass the other outstanding components of the PIB which bothers on fiscal frameworks, community , community participation and sector administration,” the organisation said in a statement.
While describing as unacceptable the reasons provided by the Presidency to veto the bill, CISLAC called on the NASS which have demonstrated commitment by the passage of the PIGB to consider the possibility of overriding the veto of the President as representatives of the Nigerian people, to demonstrate that power truly belongs to the people.
However, calling on the President to re-think his decision and assent to the bill, CISLAC urged both the executive and legislature not to allow politics, personality egos and party affiliations to supersede the national interest and potential benefits due to Nigeria and Nigerians from the passage of the PIBs.
Expressing disappointment at the presidents refusal to assent to the PIGB, executive director of CISLAC, Auwa Ibrahim Rafsanjani, said it was unfortunate despite Buhari’s promise to reform the oil and gas sector in Nigeria during the election campaigns and repeatedly after his election.
“We are aware that throughout the legislative process, relevant agencies and stakeholders had the opportunity to make input into the Bill during the public hearing and other channels. It is therefore shocking that after all the efforts, time and cost incurred in the passage of the Bill, we are back to where we were as a nation 12 years ago,” he said.
CISLAC further expressed regret that in spite of the established losses the nation incurs due to the absence of this law, and estimated loss of $15 billion yearly in fresh investments, the President did not consider it a matter of national importance to assent to the Bill.