PIB: Saraki warns oil firms against inducing lawmakers

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has warned the International Oil Companies and Oil Producers Trade Section (IOC/OPTS), operating in the country not to induce lawmakers.

Saraki read the riot act as hearing would soon commence on the Fiscal and Host Communities Bills, components of the Petroleum Industry Bill which is currently before the National Assembly for consideration and passage.

Saraki gave the warning  in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja on Tuesday.

He was quoted as saying that the leadership of the 8th National Assembly had made it clear to all lawmakers involved in the process to live above board.

He called on the leadership of the OIC/OPTS to report any lawmaker who seeks any personal favour when the process of passing the bills commence.

“Let me use this opportunity to make some ground rules clear. The two houses will maintain the same position on the remaining bills.

“I am confident that for these other bills too, we will do the same.

” I want to assure you that it is in our own interest and the leadership has made it clear to all the members involved that this must be a transparent process.

“We are doing it in the interest of the country. Leadership is not going to tolerate any hanky-panky. No favours. No gifts. Nothing must be given to get this work done.

” If you see any of these you should bring it to the attention of the leadership. All we want to see is a bill that is in the interest of Nigeria.

“We have read the riot act to all our members that nobody should approach anybody for any benefit and I want to make this very clear.

“We must ensure that everything is above board because this is not just a bill for today, but for future generations and we must make sure that in our time it is done properly,” he said.

Saraki pointed out that the process for passage of the Fiscal and Host Communities bills would commence soon.

He added that the national assembly would pass a petroleum bill that would be a “win-win” for all stakeholders.

According to him, this is where we are now and this is where it concerns those of you who are operators to see that we pass a petroleum bill that is a win-win for all.

“A petroleum bill that will be a win for Nigeria on the revenue side, investment side and jobs creation; and it is also a win for those who are investing in Nigeria.

“We know that it is a very competitive world out there and we must make Nigeria competitive.

“The only way we can do that is through engagement. We cannot do it by just passing a bill and putting it at your doorstep.

“It has to be a bill that we all believe is in the interest of all those who are involved,” he said.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation of the IOC/OPTS and Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Limited, Mr Osagie Okunbo, said the visit was essentially to assure the leadership of the National Assembly of their cooperation.

He said the IOC/OPTS would make their memorandum on the bills available to relevant Committees of the National Assembly during the public hearing.

He said it was important to ensure that the PIB that would be passed would promote investment.

“Our primary concern is that at the end of the day, we both lay the years of uncertainty to rest, but even more importantly, that a bill that is passed eventually is one that we can all be proud of.

” The one that will encourage investments in all parts of the oil industry,” Okunbo stated. (NAN)

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