Legislator representing the federal constituency of Ohaji / Egbema / Oguta / Oru-West in Imo State in the House of Representatives, Kingsley Chima, said the passage of the oil industry bill was the largest ever success of the 9th National Assembly.
Chima, who is a member of the ad hoc committee on GDP, said the bill, when it finally becomes law, will provide a policy of organized governance in the oil sector.
However, the lawmaker representing the federal constituency of Esan Northeast / Esan Southeast in Edo state, Sergius Ogun, said the GDP was imperfect.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja on Friday, Chima noted that the GDP would create efficient production, proper management, transparency and good governance in the sector.
He said: “The greatest achievement of the 9th Chamber of the National Assembly is the passage of the GDP. If you recall, you would agree with me that this bill has been in the cooler for over a decade and that means there may have been some issues of disagreement and gray areas; areas that are not really acceptable to all stakeholders.
“It has gotten to a point where too many people have actually invested so much, be it regional, political, religious or even economic interests, to try to justify their refusal to pass the bill. But yesterday (Thursday), the bill received the biggest ovation imaginable in the National Assembly.
“An overwhelming majority of 99.9 percent of members present – if not 100 percent – agreed with the content of the bill as recommended by the PIB committee. That is to say that the 9th Assembly under the leadership of President Femi Gbajabiamila has effectively given life to the corporate governance of our petroleum sector.
According to the lawmaker, PIB would make the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation accountable to Nigerians and make more money available to host communities.
Chima said: “Article 53 mentioned the creation of an NNPC which would be accountable to the Nigerian people. This will ensure immediate registration, upon the approval of this bill by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having what we will call NNPC Ltd.
“She will now be responsible for ensuring that the profits generated by the explorations in this country are transferred to the Federation account as quickly as possible.”
“Section 240 talks about host communities and these host communities are singing for joy today because we have given impetus and power and provided an enabling environment for you to participate in your own resources. ”
He explained that five percent of the operational costs of oil companies would be reserved exclusively for host communities and would no longer be sent by proxy.
However, Ogun, in an interview with reporters on Friday, criticized the process leading to the adoption of the GDP, while hailing the passage of the bill as a “good thing.” According to him, no bill is perfect.
The lawmaker praised Nigerians, saying the country had lost many investments that had gone to other countries. He also expressed hope that the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), would approve the bill and that investors who were on the fence would invest in the country.
He lamented, however, that there were not enough copies of the GDP, adding that he had expressed his grievance to the chairman of the ad hoc committee and majority whip, Mohammed Monguno.
Ogun said, “Even though I went through Bill over and over again because I was part of the process that got him to where it is today, I still needed a copy. If what we’ve been through is different from what’s been presented, I can’t just go ahead and be okay with everything; I just wanted to have a copy and browse.
“That’s why I went to protest to the president, who was surprised we didn’t all have copies, and the vice president told us that within five minutes of the start we would all have copies, but that did not happen. ”
All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without the express prior written permission of PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]