Two years and about four months after the House of Representatives kick-started hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), yesterday the lower chamber came out with its recommended amendments to the bill, including stripping the president of discretionary powers to grant oil licences and leases.
In place of the discretionary award, oil licences and leases will be awarded through competitive bids.
This was one of the nine recommendations the House made, just as it retained four aspects of the PIB including Sections 225-229, which provides for the existence of three conventional licences, namely: Petroleum Exploration License (PEL), Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PEL) and Petroleum Mining Lease (PML).
The House equally expunged the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources over the National Oil Company (NOC), Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate Agency (UPIA), Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (DPRA), Asset Management Company (AMC) and other corporate entities to be established by bill when enacted.
These recommendations were submitted in a report of the ad-hoc committee of the House chaired by its Chief Whip, Hon. Isyaka Bawa Bwari, which was mandated to review all 363 sections and annexures in the bill.