President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the historic Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) as passed by the National Assembly.
The proposed law, which was conceived to liberalise the governance structure of Nigeria’s oil industry, is one of the four bills in which the omnibous Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was broken into by the legislature after over a decade of motion without movement.
It was learnt that Buhari has sent back the bill to the National Assembly on three grounds. First, Buhari said the bill, if signed into law, would whittle down his power as minister of petroleum resources. Secondly, he said all the ministers he consulted over PIGB refused to support his signing it into lawand thirdly, the president said he did not see any “fiscal content” of the bill.
However, a separate law, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB), is currently being considered by the lawmakers.
The other subsets being considered are: Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB) and the Petroleum Host Community Bill (PHCB).
Buhari’s refusal to sign PIGB into law will be regarded as a big set-back for the reform of the oil industry after years of campaigns and controversies.
The harmonised bill was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly on March 28, 2018.
The bill arrived Aso Rock on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 after a series of back and forth at the National Assembly.