Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Sen. Tayo Alasoadura, has assured that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill will be passed latest in March.
Alasoadura said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a plenary to discuss new legislation and policy to transform the oil and gas sector.
The plenary, which held on the margins of the 16th Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (NOG), had six discussants to proffer solutions on how government policies could develop the oil sector.
According to Alasoadura, the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill will by the end of March, go through its third reading.
The bill seeks to address all governance-related issues in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
“Once a bill gets to its third reading, it is as good as being passed. We are expecting the bill to be passed in March or latest by April.
“The Local Content Law will also be properly taken care of.
“We’ve asked for areas of amendment from the Executive Secretary and we’ll be glad to do it.
“’We know we need laws that are in line with international standards. We need an NNPC that will be smooth, commercially oriented, that can run smoothly and make money,” he said.
He said the legislators decided to have only one regulatory body in the sector to ease the process of doing business and attract more investments.
“That it takes time like a year to set up a business in the industry is an aberration.
“We are thinking of when we have a timeline for all businesses to be completed within six months,” Alasoadura said.
Also, Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said the time had come for local content to grow.
‘“Local content brings down costs and this is the time for local content to grow.
“Government is establishing Nigerian Development Bank to fund local content and local contractors that will give genuine Nigerian investors good interest rates.
“The objective is not to seek profit but to help local investors. We will make sure that the bank is helping Nigerian companies,’’ Wabote said.
The Group Chief Executive of Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, said Nigeria could never have a successful downstream until the sector became fully deregulated.
He further said “the essence of the policy is to drive logic, hence the only way of freeing the NNPC is to pass those policies we seek.
For instance, no country trucks products for more than 1,000 kilometres except in a war. We spend more trucking the products outside the country”.