Recession: Senate seeks comprehensive overhaul of oil and gas industry

Mayowa Okekale, Abuja

For the country to get out of economic recession the petroleum industry must be made profitable and efficient. It has therefore, become imperative for Nigeria to comprehensively reform the oil and gas sector.

This was the disclosure of the Senate Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, while delivering his remarks at the National Assembly joint public hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on Wednesday.

He also admitted that the key objective is to reform the PIB to meet International best practices and ensure effective governance.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while speaking at the hearing, reiterated the commitment of the 8th Senate to the Bill, and recognised that “since 2008 when the PIB was introduced, it has been faced with some major challenges.”

Stating further some of the objectives of the Bill, Saraki said it will establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven entities.

He said: “The Bill establishes the process for breaking the NNPC into two commercial entities which will be limited by shares. The two entities will be known as the National Petroleum Company (NPC) and the National Assets Management Company (NAMC).”

Equally, Saraki tasked the Committee in charge to expedite the work after the public hearing, in order to make sure that the PIB is signed, sealed and delivered for the benefit of the Nigerian public, early in 2017.

He thanked all that have participated in compiling the PIB since 2008, acknowledging that the reforms were necessary.

•Photo shows Senate President Saraki.

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