Nigeria can’t afford to delay passage of PIB for economic reasons – Lawan

The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has said that any further delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will result in economic losses for Nigeria.

Lawan stated this on Monday while delivering his remarks at a two-day public hearing on PIB organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Sector (Downstream); Petroleum Resources (Upstream); and Gas.

He recalled that efforts by successive Senate to get the Bill passed have not yielded the much desired result, saying it may be attributed to inadequate consultation and cooperation from stakeholders.

Lawan noted that the non-passage of the PIB has been a major drag on the industry over the years, significantly limiting its ability to attract both local and foreign capital at a time when many other countries are scrambling to exploit their oil and gas resources.

He explained that the rationale behind the Bill’s passage is driven by the need to overhaul a system that has refused to operate optimally in line with global standards, resulting in loss of continental competitiveness and good governance and economic loss for the petroleum industry and the country.

While thanking stakeholders for their contributions in shaping the outcome of the Bill, the Senate President assured Nigerians that the current National Assembly has been working assiduously in conjunction with critical stakeholders to get the Bill passed this year.

He said: ”The 9th Senate in its wisdom, made the passage of the Bill a priority in its legislative agenda and has since in conjunction with critical stakeholders, been working assiduously to get the Bill passed this year.

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