The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the National Assembly (NASS) for passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba gave the commendation in a statement; issued to newsmen on Tuesday, July 6, in Abuja.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress received with relief the news of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“The PIB with 319 clauses, 5 chapters, and 8 Schedules is promoted by the government as an instrument for increased transparency; services delivery; and global competitiveness for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
“It is remarkable that after about twenty years of wait since President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua first submitted the PIB to the National Assembly, the PIB is finally becoming a reality.
“We commend the Senate and the House of Representatives for rising to the occasion. We know that the process of making the PIB a law has not been completely consummated,’’ he said.
According to him, the passed bill will still need to be harmonised; by a conference of the two chambers of the National Assembly.
Wabba noted that President Muhammadu Buhari is also expected to sign the bill into law; adding that definitely, there are few more hurdles to cross.
He said the NLC was, however, concerned that unlike the Senate representation of Clause 53; the PIB as passed by the House of Representatives in respect to the Clause; does not seem to sufficiently capture this desire of the Nigerian people.
“This is a major blight in the PIB. It is not good enough,’’ he said.
He said Congress also noted the serious concerns and agitations; by oil-bearing host communities on a number of issues.
The NLC president said that the most topical concern appeared to be the percentage of revenue proposed in the PIB to go to oil-producing communities.
“It is important that the Conference Committee of the National Assembly ensures equity in the harmonisation of the three per cent proposed by the Senate; as well as five per cent by the House of Representatives.
“This is especially in a manner that gives a sense of justice, fairness; and inclusion to oil-bearing and oil-producing communities in the country.
“This is because these communities bear the impact of crude oil exploration and production,’’ he said.