President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki today urged the International Oil Companies and Oil Producers Trade Section (IOC/OPTS) operating in the country not to induce lawmakers during the consideration of other sections of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
The Fiscal and Host Communities Bills, a components of the Petroleum Industry Bill is currently before the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
Saraki stated this when the leadership of the IOC/OPTS visited him in Abuja.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, Saraki called on the leadership of the OIC/OPTS to report any lawmaker who wants to use dubious means to seek favour when they begin the process of passing the bills this month.
Saraki said: “Let me also use these opportunity to just make some ground rules clear. We as the 8th National Assembly, I told you at the beginning that the two houses will be on the same position on the remaining Bills. I think we have shown that on the first bill we passed.
“I am confident that for these other bills too, we will do the same. I want to assure you that it is in our own interest and the leadership has made it clear to all the members involved that this must be a transparent process.
“We are doing it in the interest of the country. Leadership is not going to tolerate any hanky-panky. No favours. No gifts. Nothing must be given to get this work done.
“And we want to mandate you that if you see any of these you should be able to bring it to the attention of the leadership. All we want to see is a Bill that is in the interest of Nigeria and we have read the riot act to all our members that nobody should approach anybody for any interest towards any benefit and I want to make this very clear.
Saraki and other members of the Senate leadership meeting with the oil firms
“This is the position of leadership on this issue. We must ensure that everything is above board because this is not just a Bill for today, but for future generations. We must make sure that in our time it is done properly,” he stated.
He said: “This is where we are now and this is where it concerns those of you who are operators to see that we can pass a petroleum bill that is a win win for all.
“A petroleum bill that will be a win for Nigeria on the revenue side, investment side and jobs creation; and it is also a win for those who are investing in Nigeria. Because we appreciate that it is a very competitive world out there and we must make Nigeria competitive.
“The only way we can do that is through engagement. We cannot do it by just passing a bill and just putting it at your doorstep, because we are not the ones that will do the investment. So, it has to be a bill that we all believe is in the interest of all those who are involved,” he said.
He said that it is important to ensure that the PIB that will be passed is one that will essentially promote investment.
“Our primary concern is that at the end of the day, we both lay the years of uncertainty to rest, but even more importantly, that a bill that is passed eventually is one that we can all be proud of and the one that we can say will encourage investments in all parts of the oil industry,”