By Adedapo Adesanya
Both chambers of the National Assembly, the Senate and the House of Representatives, will consider the revised Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for a second reading today.
This was disclosed by the Senate President, Mr Ahmed Lawan, and his equivalent at the House of Representative, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, after the bill scaled first reading at the Senate and the House of Representatives last month after it was transmitted for consideration and passage by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Business Post had reported that President Buhari had promised to see to the passing of the bill into law latest by the end of 2020 even as stakeholders have underscored the importance of a business-friendly fiscal policy to investments in the oil and gas sector.
Announcing the expected debate of the bill on October 20, Mr Lawan stated that an early debate on the bill was necessary to forestall any delay in its consideration.
He said the legislation would, after debating on the floor, pass second reading and be referred to the Joint Committees on Petroleum and Gas for further legislative work.
“Our Joint Committee must do everything possible for us to have a document or report that we would work within the Senate and something that Nigerians and investors will be happy with,” he said.
On the part of House Speaker, Mr Gbajabiamila, the bill will also come up for second reading on Tuesday, October 20, which is the same day as in the Senate.
The revised PIB 2020, among others, provides that there would be no need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) as both will be become part of a limited liability company that will be known as NNPC Limited.
Also, the bill will see the upstream sector of the oil industry get its own agency known as the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) and it will be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of upstream petroleum operations.
Then, the midstream and downstream sector will get the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (MDPRA) known as ‘The Authority’.
Also expected to be included in the much-expected bill include changes in taxes and royalties applicable in the oil and gas sector and setting up of host community development trusts by oil companies, which would bar companies from deducting gas flaring penalties from their taxes.
The companies would also have to supply a set amount of gas, determined by the new regulator, to the domestic market or face penalties of $3.50 per 1 million British Thermal Units, among others
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