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Senate will pass PIB before end of April, Akpan reiterates

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The Chairman Senate Committee on Upstream, Senator Bassey Akpa has reiterated that the ninth Assembly will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the end of April 2021.

Akpa gave the assurance at the inauguration of the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme (NUCOP), in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that the senate had given itself a timeline to ensure that the bill was passed because of its importance to the growth of the oil and gas sector in the country.

“We believe as members of the National Assembly that the real essence and what we must come to terms is to pay greater attention to the passage of the PIB.

“I want to assure this gathering that this 9th Assembly headed by Senator Ahmed Lawan will pass the PIB before the end of April 2021.

“We have set this timeline for ourselves as a body and we have provided everything that will help us achieve this target,’’ he said.

He said that reduction of cost of crude oil production was a step in the right direction adding that there was need for operators to harmonise their activities to achieve that goal.

The committee chairman said that with the passage of new PIB, achieving the objectives of NUCOP would be easy.

Akpan noted that the real essence of taking a second look at the PIB was necessitated by the need to update all the obsolete and outdated oil and gas laws in the country.

The lawmaker said that the new PIB to be passed by the National assembly would be simple and easy to understand and implement.

“Let me assure each and every one of you that we will do everything possible to ensure that we pass a bill, not just a law that will be globally competitive, met all standards and easy to implement.

“We will pass a law that will drive the growth of the oil and gas sector,’’ he added.

The bill is at the Public hearing stage after which it will be sent back to the senate for conclusion.

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