Don’t politicise PIB, Alison-Madueke tells stakeholders
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Thursday urged stakeholders in the Oil and Gas Industry not to politize or personalize the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly.
She said the bill is geared towards providing a win-win scenario for all stakeholders in the petroleum sector.
Alison-Madueke, according to a statement, made this submission Thursday as part of the two-day public hearing by the Senate Joint Committee on the PIB in Abuja, adding that the responsibility for exercising the powers proposed in the Bill for the President and Petroleum Minister will ultimately rest on any administration in power at the time, and so should not be personalized.
The Minister, the statement issued by the acting spokesperson for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), argued that it was important for the law to sufficiently empower any administration to act in the best interest of Nigerians. She stressed that the provision empowering the President and the Minister is not about her or the President as it is not likely that the present administration will be in power when the law gets to full implementation in the years ahead.
“By the time the PIB is fully articulated and implemented the current President and Minister of Petroleum Resources will no longer be in office. This Bill takes a while before it is operational. She stressed that the proposed transition period after the passage of the Bill is at least three years. Note, there are over 80 regulations to be made for this Bill to be operational,” Alison-Madueke stated.
According to her, “whilst we take best practices from other developed regions, we should also work within the understanding of our own socio-economic and social-cultural norms, and create entities and policies that will work and are not destined to fail from the word-go.”
She further stated that contrary to the impression that the PIB granted enormous powers to the Petroleum Resources Minister, it should be noted that the powers vested on the Minister by the Bill are not different from those vested on the Minister’s counterparts by the petroleum laws of the United kingdom, Malaysia and Norway. She stressed further that the powers granted the Nigerian Minister by the PIB is less than those of her counterparts in the laws of advanced petroleum producing countries.