Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday said the Senate will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the end of 2020.
The Bill is meant to overhaul the petroleum industry, entrench efficiency and transparency in the upstream and downstream sectors, bring operations in line with international standards.
It also seeks to increase government revenue from oil and lay down a strengthened legal and regulatory framework for the Nigerian oil industry.
But efforts to reform the nation’s petroleum industry in the last two decades have not yielded result.
Lawan spoke about the bill while inaugurating the 70 Standing Committees of the Senate at plenary in Abuja.
The Senate President urged security-related committees of the Senate to ensure the overall review of the nation’s security in “architecture and structure” to curb the rising security challenges in the land.
He also urged the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government to cooperate with committees of the National Assembly to accomplish their tasks.
Lawan said: “Our petroleum industry is almost stagnant; it has for long be in need of profound reform. Our oil and gas-related committees are, therefore, expected to work hard to take the lead in our determination to reform this vital sector.
“It is the desire, indeed the design of this Senate, that the PIB is passed before the end of 2020.”
The Senate President regretted that the nation’s security agencies had continued to perform below-desired standards in providing tight security for all citizens.
He said: “As security is a fundamental responsibility of government, no amount of investment is too much.”
Lawan stressed that senators expected total cooperation of the Executive arm of government to enable them discharge their legislative duties.
“The Senate expects the honourable ministers and heads of agencies of government to be forthcoming and responsive to the engagement requests of our committees.
“Our committees will undertake regular oversights with a view to ensuring that government programmes and projects are properly executed for the benefit of our citizens,” he said.
Lawan explained that as standing committees are the engine rooms of the legislature so are the MDAs to the Executive.
“This is why there is a need for cooperation, consultation, partnership and synergy between the two arms of government.
“The MDAs are hereby called upon to harness the opportunity of the existence of the committees in the execution of their mandates. We must have a unity of purpose,” he said.