Ahead of the planned resumption of federal lawmakers from their annual recess, a policy initiative group, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) has called on them to give priority to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
The Executive Director of PLAC, Clement Nwankwo, made the declaration on Friday while speaking with newsmen shortly after his meeting with the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly, Architect Ojo Olatunde Amos, in Abuja.
Nwankwo said it would be a misnomer for the federal government to embark on total deregulation of the oil and gas sector in the absence of enabling legislation.
He maintained that the PIB was critical to the success of the effective operation of both the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry.
He said: “The PIB is critical and it has been here for too long. It is important that the National Assembly takes quick action on the PIB because there is so much going on in the petroleum sector.
“The Federal Government said it has removed fuel subsidy, yet, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is so much involved in what should be a private commercial activity.
“So, the National Assembly needs to have the PIB dealt with immediately. For me, I would say within the year, the National Assembly should conclude business on the PIB.”
“Electoral reforms is critical as well. I think the National Assembly needs to conclude amendments to the Electoral Act.