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Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has described the draft oil reform law, currently before the National Assembly for legislative action, as a vibrant document which would remain relevant to the oil and gas industry long after the exit of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
She spoke to newsmen, weekend, at the end of the two-day Senate Public Hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke called on stakeholders in the oil and gas industry not to politicise/personalise provisions of the bill, stressing that the draft legislation was not proposed or written with any administration in mind.
A statement by Tumini Green, Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said the Minister spoke against the backdrop of fears in some quarters that the proposed law vests too much discretionary power in the President and Petroleum Minister.
He explained that the responsibility for the exercise of the powers proposed in the bill for the President and Petroleum Minister will ultimately rest on any administration in power at the time and so should not be personalised.
Diezani-Alison-Madueke-240The minister said, “By the time the PIB is fully articulated and implemented, the current President and Minister of Petroleum Resources may no longer be in office. This bill takes a while before it is operational.”
Drawing a parallel between the PIB and the Power Sector Reform Act of 2004, which was passed over eight years ago and is currently being implemented by the Jonathan administration, Alison-Madueke argued that it was important for the law to sufficiently empower any administration to act in the best interest of Nigerians.