Connect with us

News

Senate passes Petroleum Industry Bill

Published

on

SENATE-PRESIDENT
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan
Share

The Senate recorded a historic feat on Thursday with the passage of the complete version of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which defied passage in previous assemblies over the last twenty years.

The bill was passed after a clause-by-clause consideration of a report by the Joint Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector; Petroleum Resources (Upstream); and Gas on the PIB.

The Chairman of the Joint Committee, Sabo Muhammed Nakudu, delivered a presentation on the Committee’s report moments before the upper chamber held a closed session to receive briefing by the Petroleum Minister, Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

The closed session which started at 11:10am ended at 12:40pm.

In his presentation, the lawmaker said that the Petroleum Industry Bill consists of five distinct chapters which include Governance and Institutions; Administration; Host Communities Development; Petroleum Industry Fiscal Framework; and Miscellaneous Provisions comprising 319 clauses and 8 schedules.

According to him, the bill’s passage and eventual assent into law would strengthen accountability and transparency of NNPC limited as a full-fledged company under statutory/regulatory oversight with better returns to its shareholders – the Nigerian people.

He added that the Joint Committee’s recommendation on Frontier Basins recognized the need for Nigeria to explore and develop the country’s frontier basins to take advantage of the foreseeable threats to the funding of fossil fuel projects across the world due to speedy shift to alternative energy sources.

During a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill, the upper chamber approved the funding mechanism of thirty percent of NNPC limited’s oil and gas profit in the production sharing, profit sharing, and risk service contracts to fund exploration of frontier basins.

It also approved Clause 4 of the bill which seeks the establishment of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission to provide technical regulatory functions that would enforce, administer and implement laws, regulations and policies relating to upstream petroleum operations.

The Commission would, among others, ensure compliance with applicable national and international petroleum industry policies, standards and practices for upstream petroleum operations; and establish, monitor, regulate and enforce health, safety and environmental measures and standards relating to upstream petroleum operations.

In addition, the upper chamber while adopting the Committee’s recommendation to retain provisions in Clause 29 of the bill, approved the establishment of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

Clause 29(3) empowers the Authority to be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of midstream and downstream petroleum operations in the petroleum industry in Nigeria.

Its function include implementing Government policies for midstream and downstream petroleum operations as directed by the Minister; and to promote, establish and develop a positive environment for international and domestic investment in midstream and downstream petroleum operations.

Others are to ensure strict environmental

implementation of policies, laws and regulations for midstream and downstream petroleum operations; and to develop and enforce a framework on tariff and pricing for natural gas and petroleum products.

The recommendation of the Joint Committee was amended in Clause 52(7d) to ensure that all monies received from gas flaring be channeled for the purpose of environmental remediation and relief of the host communities as against the development of infrastructure in midstream gas operations.

The upper chamber, however, retained the recommendation of the Joint Committee in Clause 53 which empowers the Minister of Petroleum Resources to incorporate the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation as a limited liability company to be known as NNPC Limited, six months after the commencement of the Act.

Accordingly, the adopted Clause 53 mandates the Minister of Petroleum Resources at the incorporation of NNPC Limited, to consult with the Minister of Finance to determine the number and nominal value of the shares to be allotted, which would form the initial paid-up share capital of NNPC Limited.

Consequently, the Senate approved ownership of all shares in NNPC Limited to be vested in the Government at incorporation and held by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated on behalf of the Government.

The upper chamber, however, reviewed downward the Joint Committee’s recommendation that 5 percent be paid as contribution to the host community development fund.

Senators in the majority voted for 3 percent contribution to the host communities, following an amendment to Clause 240(2) by Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina North), which was seconded by Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto East).

The approval of 3 percent for host communities represents an upward review of 0.5 percent from the previous 2.5 percent contribution to the host community development fund.

Efforts by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central), Senators James Manager (PDP, Delta South), George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East), and Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP, (PDP, Akwa-Ibom North East) to demand an upward review met a brick wall from lawmakers.

Sekibo, in a move to sustain his agitation for an increase in contributions to host communities, relied on Order 73 of the Senate Rule and called for a division.

The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North), however, prevailed on Sekibo to withdraw his call for division, and reminded him of the commitment of Senators of the Ninth Assembly in fostering unity while keeping in mind their obligation at all times to protect the national interest.

The Senate Leader’s plea was accompanied by a subtle  reaction from the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who reminded Sekibo of the overwhelming support demonstrated by lawmakers who had earlier approved that host communities receive remediation and relief from monies accruing from gas flaring in the PIB.

Sekibo at this point withdrew his earlier call for division.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the eventual passage of the PIB, congratulated the Ninth Assembly and Joint Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector; Petroleum Resources (Upstream); and Gas for the “tremendous and historical achievement of passing the long awaited Petroleum Industry Bill.”

According to him, the passage of the PIB was an indication that the “demon” behind its non-passage in the past had been finally defeated.

He added, “I must commend the leadership of the House of Representatives, too, for providing leadership to ensure that our Joint Committees in the Senate and the House work together to produce the report that we have just passed.

“Let me say that the Ninth Senate and, indeed, the Ninth National Assembly has achieved one of its fundamental items on the legislative agenda.

“We promised Nigerians that we will do our best to pass the PIB that has defied passage or defied assent. At least, the demons are being defeated in this chamber.”

Lawan appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give expeditious assent to the bill when it is eventually forwarded to him by the National Assembly.

The Senate, thereafter, adjourned plenary till next week Tuesday, the 6th of July, 2021.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

EID El Fitr: Let’s Embrace Ramadan Lessons – Senator Bamidele

Published

on

Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
Share

Leader of the Senate, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele has rejoiced with the Muslim faithful as they celebrate Eid-el-Fitr nationwide.

Senator Bamidele in a statement he signed explains that ‘Eid-el-Fitr marks the end of the 2024 Ramadan fasting, which started from March 10 and ended on April 9. Stressing that Within this timeframe, we must have learnt a lot of lessons, especially at this critical time in our history’

The lawmaker says the period of Ramadan should again remind us about the essence of forgiving others, ministering of compassion to the less privilege, respect for human dignity, promoting peaceful co-existence and upholding propriety and piety in all facets of life, which we must all embrace irrespective of our ethnic and religious leanings.

The statement reads: ‘These lessons are not meant for the period of Ramadan fasting only. Also, they are indeed principles and values, which should always guide and shape the life of every Nigerian, the quest of all businesses and conglomerates, the timeless task of building our fatherland as well as the decisions of the governments at all levels’

‘Now that Ramadan has come to an end, these lessons should reflect in the way we support our governments to resolve the myriad of internal challenges that we are collectively as a federation. It should reflect in the way we intercede the more for this federation to sustain the gains of economic stability and political cohesion that we have started experiencing in recent times. It should also reflect in our approaches to conducting businesses; running governments at all levels and discharging civic responsibilities on a daily basis’

‘Since the sustained implementation of pro-people macro-economic policies under this government, stability has started returning to economic and fiscal spaces. As against ₦1,900/$ in February 2024, the value of Naira is ₦1,117.5/$ as at Wednesday. This represents a gain of about 42% within the space of two months.

Besides, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has settled $7 billion valid foreign exchange backlogs. The federal government has paid back a whopping sum of ₦4.83 trillion out of ₦30 trillion ways and means it obtained from the CBN. And the flow of foreign direct investments is improving by the day.’
‘With these indices, the consumer price index, which measures inflation, will no doubt begin to drop significantly by mid-year as we sustain the drive for economic and fiscal stability. At the National Assembly, we are committed to providing much-needed parliamentary buffers that always support key public institutions to efficiently discharge their mandates consistent with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.’
Sustaining our drive for economic stability, political cohesion and social inclusion no doubt demands the outright adherence to the core essence of Eid-el-Fitr, which in entirety forbids the sabotage of government policies, the quest for profiteering, the exploitation of our collective resources and the sponsoring of internal disharmony, all in the name of selfish interest and political aspiration’

‘Happy Eid-el-Fitr Celebration to all Muslims Nationwide’

Continue Reading

News

Easter: Senate Leader Calls for Emulation of Sacrificial Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Published

on

Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
Share

As Nigerians join the rest of the world to celebrate another Easter in remembrance of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Senate Leader, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele  has called on them to imbibe the sacrifice and pains the saviour of mankind went through on the cross.

Bamidele who said this in a statement issued by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs, noted that the price paid by Jesus Christ which eventually saved humanity from eternal damnation could be likened to the economic hardship currently being experienced by Nigerians, a situation he assured will pay off in due course.

He noted that “it is pertinent for us as an individual and citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria to pick one or two lessons from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, though it was a painful sacrifice, but the sacrifice paved the way for our external redemption.

“It is in the interest of nation building for both the leaders and followers to learn the importance of sacrifice as panacea to lay foundation for the future of any nation.

“The sacrifice we are undergoing today may be painful just as it was for Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago, yet I call on the citizenry to remain hopeful and undistracted as there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“We should not allow pessimists to paint a picture of a failed nation before us, without recourse to the relentless efforts of the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he assured.

Bamidele further expressed optimism that whatever sacrifice Nigerians may be going through shall not be in vain; adding that the Federal Government is on top of the situation and laying the foundation for a prosperous Nigeria.

He said current economic indices can attest to the fact that there are unprecedented rapid reforms taking place across key sectors of the life of the nation.

He gave the instance of the Foreign Exchange that had hit the roof top few weeks ago but now drastically dropping by 32.6 percent as a result of pragmatic steps taken by President Tinubu and and his economic team.

Bamidele further assured that investors are currently trooping into the country with job creating opportunities, while the National Assembly is prepared to give the President all the needed legislative backing to ensure that the sacrifices of Nigerians are soon rewarded.

The Senate Leader therefore urged Nigerians; as they continue to celebrate this year’s Easter to remember the leadership of the country in their prayers for divine wisdom and direction to pilot our affairs to a safe location.

Continue Reading

News

Constituency Projects: Oyebanji Joins Senate Leader On Tour Of Project Sites in Ekiti

Published

on

Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji and Senate Leader, Sen. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
Share

 

Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji has commended the members of the State Caucus in the National Assembly for their dedication to the advancement of development in the State.

The Governor praised their efforts in initiating constituency projects that directly tackle pressing needs and improve the lives of citizens.

Oyebanji gave the commendation in Ado-Ekiti, the State Capital on Tuesday when he joined the Senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District and Leader of the Senate, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, on a tour of his constituency projects spanning various local government areas within the senatorial district.

The Governor said he is delighted at the remarkable partnership between the state government and National Assembly members, which according to him is now yielding positive results for the people of the state.

He explained that the projects are testimonials to what is possible when there is unity of purpose between the Executive and the legislative arms of government, commending Senator Bamidele’s commitment to grassroots development, dedication to service, and relentless pursuit of initiatives that directly impact the people.

While expressing his gratitude to Senator Bamidele, the Governor lauded the Senate Leader’s proactive approach to governance and his ability to mobilize resources to effectively implement impactful projects that uplift the socio-economic status of the people.

Governor Oyebanji reiterated his administration’s support for the projects and pledged continued collaboration with National Assembly members to advance sustainable development in the state, adding that he was confident that with the Senator’s visionary leadership and collective efforts of all stakeholders, Ekiti would continue to experience greater strides in development and prosperity.

“I am excited, happy and extremely grateful to God for this partnership that is working in the interest of Ekiti people, like the Senate Leader said, this is what we have when there is unity of purpose and collective ownership of vision to develop the state. A vision to run with the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President, and this tells me that I need to dig deeper in ensuring that there is continuous unity among the stakeholders in the National Assembly, “ the Governor said.

Earlier in his remarks, Senator Bamidele who thanked the Governor for his support and cooperation in realizing various development projects, said the purpose of the inspection is to assess the progress and impact of the projects across his constituency.

The Senate Leader, while emphasizing the significance of teamwork between the executive and legislative arms in driving positive change and progress in the state, restated his commitment to representing the interests of Ekiti people and working closely with the state government to address the people’s needs.

Senator Bamidele attributed various development projects in the state to purposeful and exemplary leadership provided by the Governor and assured the people that he would continue to work tirelessly to ensure the advancement of the interests of the people and promote development within the state.

“Part of the reason why this is going on is because am at peace with myself, am at peace with the state government and I don’t have any reason to want to isolate myself from what the state government is doing and we thank God Almighty”. He asserted.

Projects inspected included EKSU internal roads and the newly built medical student’s hostels, the newly built state Library in Ado Ekiti, the Mini stadium and sports complex in Erijiyan Ekiti, Intensive Care Unit and Amenities Center at Aramoko General Hospital, Ijero township road, newly built Iyin Ekiti General Hospital Intensive care Unit and Amenities Center, Iyin – Ilawe road, among others.

 

Continue Reading