Chris Steven, Abuja
Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, has stated that the Senate would be introducing a Host Community legislation to complement the Governance and Institutional Framework Bill of the revised PIB that passed Second Reading at the Senate on Wednesday.
In a statement signed by Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President, Saraki stated that with the institutional and governance framework aspect of the PIB at the Committee Stage, it was necessary for the Senate to begin work on the passage of the host community development legislation, which is aimed at addressing issues relating to community participation, security, and the ecological debt incurred by host communities from oil extraction.
“For many years now the PIB has been stalled at different stages for one reason or the other,” Saraki stated, “At this point, the Senate is ready and willing to do everything that it takes to get Nigeria’s economy out of this recession — and the efficient and effective management of our oil resources is a key component of this.
“Now that the legislation to provide a governance and institutional framework for the petroleum industry has passed Second Reading, it is time to re-introduce the host community development legislation to address the legitimate agitations of the people of the Niger Delta,” he said.
By the calculation of the Senate President, work on the passage of the two key bills will be nearing completion stage before the end of the year.
The Senate President also stated that he has asked legislators from the Upper Legislative Chamber to work together and introduce the host community development legislation, within four weeks, emphasising the fact that the predicaments of host communities that have faced the adverse effects of oil exploration for decades need to be addressed.
The version of the PIB that is now at Committee Stage is sponsored by Senator Omotayo D. Alasoadura and Twenty-eight Co-Sponsors. The Bill with the long title of “An Act to Provide for the Governance and Institutional Framework for the Petroleum Industry and for Other Related Matters” is aimed at creating an efficient and effective governing institution for the petroleum industry by defining clear and separate roles for all involved entities and establishing a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit- driven petroleum bodies that ensure value addition and internationalization of the petroleum industry.