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PIB: Senate postpones planned meeting with govs, others

By The Rainbow
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THE Senate has shifted its earlier scheduled public meeting with the 36 state governors, the petroleum minister and other relevant stakeholders in the petroleum industry regarding the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The meeting which called to iron out differences in the PIB was postponed to make room for the conclusion of work on the constitution amendment exercise.

People invited to the meeting, which postponement was announced by the Senate on Monday, cut across the both public and private sector operators in the oil sector and other interested parties.

Senate President, David Mark, had informed the lawmakers last Thursday that final voting on the constitution amendments would be taken this Tuesday.

Sunday announced postponement
According to him, 'the joint committee public meeting with the state governors and other stakeholders will now hold on Thursday and Friday, rather than the Tuesday-Wednesday we had earlier scheduled.

'The joint committee decided this time around, to involve all stakeholders in the oil sector so that at the end of the day when the new law is passed, nobody would complain of being left out.'

President Goodluck Jonathan submitted the new PIB to the National Assembly in July 2012.

The PIB titled, 'A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of a Legal, Fiscal and Regulatory Framework for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria and Other Related Matters, 2013', is seeking to, among other things, create a conducive business environment for petroleum operations; protect health, safety and the environment in the course of petroleum operations, enhance exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources in Nigeria for the benefit of Nigerians.

The Bill also seeks to optimise domestic gas supplies, particularly for power generation and industrial development; establish commercially-oriented and profit-driven, oil and gas entities; deregulate and liberalise the downstream petroleum sector; create efficient and effective regulatory agencies; and promote transparency and openness in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria.

Other stakeholders expected to make submissions at the public meeting include the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNC), Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

All managing directors of international oil companies (OIC's) as well as managing directors of indigenous oil companies, including NUPENG, PENGASSAN as well as oil-producing communities are equally expected at the meeting.