According to them, the silence from the Presidency since the bill was sent to Buhari is not encouraging, arguing that this administration had promised to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law if voted into power while campaigning in 2015. The PIGB is a part of the omnibus PIB.
The stakeholders spoke at a roundtable conference organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre in collaboration with Foster on Presidential Assent to the PIGB in Abuja.
In his submissions at the event, Amadi said, “My sensing is that this Presidency has walked back from too many things that we thought they would sign; for instance, the issue of declaration of assets and procurement council, things we thought were harmless because of where there are coming from.
“But they have walked back and so, I will not lose sleep if they walk back from this, because I think they may likely walk back from this (PIGB).”
Amadi explained that the PIGB would not just take away so much powers from the Minister of Petroleum Resources or the President, but would curb corruption in the oil sector.
He added, “The power over oil blocks is actually the power of corruption, but if the President is not inclined to those behaviour, then there is really not much that he is losing by signing the bill. But again, politics is about that. Perception that you are losing or gaining power is critical.
“So, how the narrative is put out, maybe as a narrative that the President is about to make history and that his agenda is maturing, could help to set the perception that this is not a self-emulation but a form of epiphany, if you like. But if the narrative is made to look as if some people are clamping down on the power of the President, I think it won’t be nice for the bill.”
The National Assembly had split the PIB into four, namely: the PIGB, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Framework Bill, Petroleum Industry Administration Bill and Petroleum Host Community Development Bill.