The Federal Government on Thursday assured operators in the oil and gas sector as well as other stakeholders that the Petroleum Industry Bill would soon be signed into law by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who gave the assurance in Abuja, stated that the bill would be signed into law because it would ensure openness in the oil sector.
Sylva disclosed this when the Board of Trustees of Corruption Reporters led by Yunusa Tanko gave him an award for championing anti-corruption fight by promoting transparency in the petroleum industry.
The non-passage of the PIB, which dragged for about 15 years, was halted last week Thursday after both chambers of the National Assembly passed the bill that, according to experts, would further unlock the potentials in Nigeria’s oil sector.
Commenting on the bill after receiving the anti-corruption award, Sylva said, “The PIB, which has been passed by the National Assembly, would soon be signed into law.
“And it will change the narrative and fast track transparency and openness in the petroleum industry for the development of the nation.”
Aside from the bill, the minister stated that the government had also adopted other measures to enhance transparency in governance and address corruption.
He explained that corruption in Nigeria was often pronounced at three levels, which were at the point of revenue collection, the treasury and contract execution.
Sylva said, “But with introduction of the Treasury Single Account, the practice has been significantly curtailed at the revenue collection and treasury levels but still striving at the level of contract implementation.
“Now, eliminating it at the third level is the responsibility of everyone by reporting sharp practices.”
Sylva commended the group for honouring him with the anti-corruption champion award and pledged to continue in the fight against acts that would put the Nigerian oil sector in bad light.
On why the minister was honoured by the group, Tanko said the recipient of the award had instituted transparency and accountability in the oil sector. He said the audit report published by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, an agency of the petroleum ministry, for the first time in 43 years, among other initiatives, showed that the minister had contributed to the growth of the sector.