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PIB Will Guarantee Security of Oil Assets, Says NNPC

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Image: Andrew Yakubu, Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC

May.11, 2013


By Chineme Okafor in Abuja

As the controversy over the 2013 budget amendment bill rages, both chambers of the National Assembly have decided to suspend debate on the bill, fuelling speculations that the legislature is not favourably disposed towards the swift passage of the bill.

Although there is no rift between the Senate and the executive over the amendment proposal, the House of Representatives, on the other hand, has been at loggerheads with the executive over the review of the legislation. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said that the inclusion of “the host community fund” in the much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill will guarantee sustainable security of oil and gas assets within operational zones of companies in the sector.

Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, while witnessing a ground swell of support for the proposed reform of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry through the PIB at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, United States, explained that the bill would herald a new operational vista for the industry in Nigeria.

Yakubu was quoted in a statement from the corporation friday in Abuja to have described the PIB as an essential tool for the sustainable development of Nigeria’s petroleum sector, adding that the proposed law presents mulch-dimensional approaches to the nation’s oil and gas resource management.

He noted that the approaches would ensure greater active contribution by players and stakeholders under prudent government structure of the industry.

“It also stipulates guidelines for operations in the upstream and downstream sectors which can be viewed in terms of the following thematic areas: policy, legal and regulatory dimensions, economic dimensions including participation and ownership, knowledge based human and institutional capabilities, environmental stewardship as well as governance structure for sustainable resource development,” Yakubu said.

According to the statement which was signed the acting General Manager Public Affairs of NNPC, Tumini Green, the PETAN/OTC seminar has become an integral part of Nigeria’s participation in the annual global oil and gas conference.

In his comments on the introduction of the petroleum host community fund, Yakubu explained that the proposed fund had incorporated lessons learnt from the industry’s operations within the Niger Delta on all new frontiers.

He said: “The fund is a mechanism to formally recognise host communities as important stakeholders by assigning oil and gas infrastructure security to the host communities and minimising environmental degradation due to vandalism and crude oil theft.”

Yakubu further stated that the fund also incorporates penalties to host communities in the event of vandalism in their localities, adding: “The proposed legislation includes modalities for using regulations to increase flexibility in managing host community issues.”

Also, the statement indicated that the Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Senator Emmanuel Paulker reiterated in his comments, the keenness of the senate to work with the executive arm of government in ensuring the smooth passage of the bill.

Paulker said: “I cannot commit to any particular date but I know that this PIB must be passed,” adding that there was no issue of duplication of versions of the draft bill this time.

Accordingly, Paulker’s sentiments were also shared by the House Minority Whip and Chairman House Committee on PIB, Samson Osagie who stated: “The position of the National Assembly on the Petroleum Industry Bill is that we are passionate about passing this bill into law because it consolidates about 16 legislation in the sector and for the first time, the Nigerian government is coming out to say that this industry needs to be re-organised and reformed so that the eventual benefit will get to the government and people of Nigeria.”


Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

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