Supremacy Battle Between Presidency, N’Assembly Stalls Legislation on PIB

There are indications that the passage of the PIB may be nowhere is sight as information gathered from ThisDay suggests that the delay in the passage of the Bill is actually due to internal wrangling between the National Assembly and the Executive, a power play centered around which arm of government is responsible for the passage of the Bill. This is in addition to the unresolved issue of the inclusion or otherwise of the host community fund in the Bill. The report decried this debacle calling it a major embarrassment for Nigeria in view of the landmark passage of a similar Bill by Ghana’s parliament last week.

The paper went on to report that the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru has promised to continue with the reform initiatives started by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and further grow the fortunes of NNPC by focusing on a 12-point agenda, which includes security of oil installations, the new business models, joint venture cash calls, production and reserve growth, growth of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), gas development, oil and gas infrastructure, and refinery upgrade and expansion.


House of Reps Passes Petroleum Industry Bill

Channels Television reports that the House of Reps’ Ad-Hoc Committee report on the PIB has been considered and that the Bill has been passed by the lower house.

This comes after a flurry of Bills (46 in total) were passed by the Senate yesterday, June 3, after same were transmitted by the House of Reps.

The House of Reps’ passage of the PIB comes to little or no avail as the 7th Assembly wrapped up today. The Bill would have also required passage by the Senate.

Indeed, Senate president, David Mark, in his End-of-Assembly speech, admitted the lawmakers failure to pass the Bill.

The PIB has been before the House of Assembly since July 2012.

House of Representatives Move to Minimise Executive Discretion under the PIB

ThisDay and Leadership report that the House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee on the PIB has recommended that the President’s discretionary powers to award licenses or leases, as well as the Minister of Petroleum Resources’ control over relevant regulatory agencies, be removed.

The recommendations, which are contained in the executive summary of the Committee’s report on the Bill, also seek to extend the coverage of the Petroleum Host Community Fund to communities where oil and gas installations are located.

The Committee will present its report on the PIB when the House reconvenes on March 31, 2015.

David Mark orders Senate Joint Committee on PIB to conclude deliberations

Following a Point of Order raised by the Senator representing the Ekiti-North senatorial zone, Senator Olubunmi A. Adetunbi, the Senate President, David Mark, gave orders that the Senate’s Joint Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (“PIB”) conclude work on the Bill and return same to the Senate for prompt passage.

It was reported that Senator Adetunbi’s plea was prompted after he was put on the spot at a function he attended. At the occasion, the Senate was accused of toying with critical issues affecting the economy especially the PIB.

It will be recalled that the PIB was committed to the Senate’s Joint Committee for deliberations on Thursday, March 7, 2013.


The Senate’s Joint Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), yesterday, July 18, 2013, held the first of its two-day public hearing on the Bill.

As reported in ThisDay and the Guardian, stakeholders in the petroleum industry (including the Minister of Petroleum Resources, State Governors and representatives of both government parastatals and oil companies) made their presentations on the Bill before the Senate’s Joint Committee.

International and local oil companies under the auspices of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) opposed the passage of the PIB in its current state. In a presentation made by the Managing Director, Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Mark Ward, the OPTS said the PIB fell short of addressing the challenges in the oil industry.

He observed that the Bill sought to significantly increase royalties and taxes making Nigeria one of the harshest fiscal regimes in the world, a situation that will culminate in the country, as an oil and gas producing region, becoming uncompetitive as projects will now become uneconomical.

Given the enormous expenditure required to develop gas infrastructure, he also opined that an incentive-based approach to domestic gas supply obligations will be required to jump start Nigeria’s much needed gas revolution.

According to him, while OPTS supports the objectives of the Bill and the reforms it seeks, the Bill as drafted will fail in delivering such objectives and will reduce the oil and gas industry contributions to the Nigerian economy.

The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency International (NEITI), in its submissions, explained that for effective regulation of the industry, it was necessary to reduce the powers of the Minister and ensure the creation of autonomous institutions that would promote effective governance and control in the management of Nigeria’s petroleum resources.

NEITI also noted that the Bill did little to protect the Nigerian environment. They insisted that the Bill should provide minimum environmental standards in the relationship between Operators in the sector and the environment.

The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), in its presentation, opposed the Bill’s provision mandating a ten per cent (10%)  contribution of Operator profits to the Petroleum Host Community Fund (PHCF). The Commission instead advocated exploring the open-ended opportunity available under the Constitution vis-a-vis the provision stipulating that a minimum of thirteen per cent (13%) of the revenue accruing from the Federation Account be paid to oil producing States. They also recommended that the Bill provide for the remittance of revenue by petroleum regulatory agencies into the Commission’s account.

RMAFC’s position on the PHCF was supported by the Governors of Niger and Kaduna State who described its conception as the most controversial of the entire Bill’s provision.

The Honorable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, in her presentation, said it would take about five years before the provisions of the Bill could be fully implemented. She urged stakeholders not to personalise or politicise the Bill adding that the PIB was put together in the interest of the nation.

She downplayed beliefs that the Bill accorded enormous powers to the Minister, stressing that the current Petroleum Act actually vested more powers in the office.

She further added that “Whilst we take best practices from other developed regions, we should also work within the understanding of our own socio-economic and social-cultural norms, and create entities and policies that will work and are not destined to fail from the word-go.”

The Minister also noted that the PHCF was proposed to mitigate the human and environmental conditions in oil producing regions and to assuage the feelings of the host communities towards oil and gas companies.

Declaring the hearing open, the Senate President, David Mark, promised that the National Assembly would facilitate the passage of the bill, noting that the pursuit of the Bill must be a win-win situation.

He however urged that: “Oil companies should not take undue advantage of Nigeria. What I do not want is when people begin to threaten that if you do not do this, we will park out of Nigeria. That is not the correct thing. We are conscious of the fact that there is frustration in the oil industry”.




The Senate’s two-day Petroleum Industry Bill (“PIB”) public hearing session, initially slated for July 16 and July 17, 2013, has been moved to Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, 2013.

The hearings were moved as a result of the Senate’s planned vote on Constitutional amendment and  a valedictory session in honor of the late Senator Pius Ewherido both taking place on the 16th and 17th of July respectively.

The Senate’s hearing will now come up exactly one week after the House of Representatives’ final public hearing on the Bill.

Although hearings failed to hold on Wednesday, July 10 as initial stated, the House of Representatives, on the second day of hearings, played host to a cross-section of stakeholders in the oil and gas industry made up of the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers Association (NUPENG), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and other interested stakeholders as reported.

Both NUPENG and PENGASSAN, in a joint presentation, submitted that the Bill conferred excessive powers on the Minister and as such encroached on the powers of the Regulators. The Unions’ position was also shared by Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai.

Speaking in his capacity as Director of the Centre for Africa’s Progress and Prosperity (“CAPP”), El-Rufai suggested that Joint Ventures be incorporated and quoted on the stock exchange to encourage Nigerian’s participation in the petroleum industry. He also panned the President’s indiscriminate powers to allocate acreages.

The General Manager (Commercial), Shell Exploration and Production Africa, Marc den Hartog, said the company “fully supports the aspirations of government as contained in the PIB.” He however suggested that the PIB clearly define the roles and responsibilities of entities, especially those of the Regulators so as to avoid overlaps and conflicts.

NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, suggested that the PIB provide for a public register of corporate entities that bid for, operate or invest in petroleum upstream assets, including the identities of their beneficial owners and their levels of ownership. She also urged for provisions that would allow for cash-call payments for Joint Ventures as a first line charge on the Federation Account. “This means that the federal government’s share of the expenses for JV operation would be paid based on agreed work-plan and budgets directly from the Federation Account, prior to other disbursements from the said account,” she said.


The House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (“PIB”) in a communiqué issued on Monday, July 8, 2013, has notified the general public of its final public hearing on the Bill.

Members of the public, especially industry stakeholders, professional / interest groups, host communities, state and local governments, have been invited to make representations to the Ad-hoc Committee on the PIB on Wednesday, 9th and Thursday, 10th July 2013 at the New Wing of the House of Representatives National Assembly Complex, Abuja. All memoranda on the Bill are required to be typed, hardcover bound and produced in twenty (20) copies.

The House of Representatives’ hearing is to be followed by a two-day public hearing by the Senate’s Joint Committee on the PIB.

The Senate’s public hearing, taking place on Tuesday, 16th and Wednesday, 17th July, 2013 at Conference Room 022, New Senate Wing National Assembly Complex, is to host the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the 36 State Governors as well as heads of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the first day, and on the second day, Managing Directors of International and National Oil Companies, the Nigerian Labour Congress, Petroleum Marketers, industry stake holders and members of the public.

Stakeholders and interested members of the public willing to make representations on the Bill to the Senate’s Joint Committee are required to submit their memoranda in fifty (50) hard copies and one (1) soft copy to the Committee’s Secretariat in Room SB 10 (Red Carpet), (White House), the Senate National Assembly Complex, Abuja on or before Thursday 11th July, 2013.


The House of Representative’s Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (“PIB”) headed by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Ishaaka Bawa, held its South-West public hearing on Monday, 22 and Tuesday, 23 April, 2013 at Lagos Airport Hotel.

In attendance were various stakeholders in the petroleum extractive industry, petroleum industry consultants and experts as well as representatives from various government departments.

Although the Committee received a handful of remarks on the first day of hearing (particularly from the Lagos State Government), most representations were left till the hearing’s second day.

A representative from Shell expressed concern that PIB’s fiscal framework did not encourage new investments and if passed as drafted, the country stood the chance of experiencing a decline in deep water explorations.

Also contributing, Engr. Dada Thomas of Frontier Oil Ltd. and Mrs. Catherine Uju Ifejika of Britannia-U Nigeria Ltd. spoke on the Bill being unfavourable to Marginal Field Operators and dis-incentivising gas production. They advocated for better incentives for indigenous operators, a less stringent fiscal framework and an attractive pricing regime for operators involved in gas operations.

Speaking primarily on the Petroleum Host Community Fund, Environmental Rights Action’s Executive Director, Mr. Godwin Ojo, called for a redefinition of Petroleum Host Communities. He suggested the need to expand the category of communities classified as Host Communities. He suggested that Host Communities include all States affected by every aspect of petroleum operations and not just the Niger-Delta states.

Rounding up presentations, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN)’s PIB committee chairperson reiterated the general sentiments the Bill had received since its draft was released in July 2012.

Amongst other things, he expressed the need for the Bill to take more local content initiative, restrict the powers of the President as regards discretionary award of licences and leases, merge the regulatory agencies, allow greater transparency in NOC divestment and provide more tax incentives.


It has been reported (here and here) that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on Thursday, March 6, 2013, scaled through the Second Reading on the floor of the Senate and has been passed on to the Senate Committees on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream), Gas and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

Senators Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa Central), Chairman Committee on Petroleum(Upstream); Magnus Abe (Rivers South/East), Chairman Committee on Petroleum(Downstream); Nkechi Justina Nwaogu (Abia Central), Chairman Gas Committee; and Umaru Dahiru (Sokoto South), Chairman Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters are charged with collating the views of the Senate on the Bill together with those of the public, which would be received through public hearings, and report same to the House within six (6) weeks.

The Senate President, David Mark commended the accord shown by his colleagues in getting the Bill passed to the Committee Stage and expressed his delight that the Bill had enjoyed robust debate as no fewer than 81 Senators had made contributions on the Bill over the past 3 days.

Mark summarized the general issues the Senate had with the Bill as:

  1. The provision for a Petroleum      Host Community Fund;
  2. The insufficiency with regards      frontier exploration; and
  3. The excessive powers of the Minister      of Petroleum.

He also made note as to the impracticability of certain portions of the Bill such as the Bill exempting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) assets to be privatized from provisions of the Public Procurement Act.

Although he pointed out that the Bill was a “worthy Bill”, he also mentioned that no Bill had come through the Senate and not been tinkered with. He assured the House that subsequent to the public hearings, “amendments, additions and subtractions” will be made to the legislation.



Wednesday, March 6, 2013 saw the second reading of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on the floor of the Senate enter into its second day. (Reported here and here).

Deliberations once again centered on the controversial 10 per cent allotted for the Petroleum Host Community Fund (PHCF).

Senate Committee Head on Rules and Business, Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom North East) in refuting the collective opposition by Northern Senators to further funding of oil producing regions through the PHCF, introduced another dimension to the debate by alleging that over 83 per cent of the indigenous acreage allotted in the Niger Delta were given to individuals from the North-East and North-West geo-political zones while the rest were distributed amongst individuals from the South-East and South-West which effectively returned most of the proceeds on investment in the Niger Delta to the North. He then called for the revocation and reallocation of oil blocks in line with the federal character principle. Adding his support to Enang’s view, Senator James Manager (Delta South), warned against withdrawing the Fund as it may breed the return of militants to the creeks, whilst Senator George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers) maintained that the money from the fund was not meant for the South-South region alone.

Senator Abdulahi Adamu (Nasarawa West) while accepting the spirit behind the reforms in the oil and gas sector asked that caution be exercised in the moves to privatise the National Oil Company as a lack of transparency and accountability could jeopardize the process.

Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South) voiced concerns about Section 191 of the Bill which gave the President discretionary powers to grant licenses. He expressed worry that the Bill did not place any limitations on this discretionary power by the President.

An area that garnered support from Senators from both Northern and Southern divides was the need to provide adequate funding and support frontier exploration. Senator Manager was of the view that oil exploration in other states would contain the bickering over the PHCF incentives.