Stakeholders in the nation’s hydrocarbon resources industry have charged the National Assembly to prioritise deliberations on pending components of the Petroleum Industry Bill, and pass them into law in order to fully tap into the opportunities in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

The stakeholders made the call at a roundtable dialogue organized by Centre for Financial Journalism (CFJ) and Facility for Oil Sector Transformation (FOSTER) in Lagos which had participants from a broad spectrum oil and gas industry, the media and non-governmental organizations.

The other components of the PIB now pending before the National Assembly are, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill; Petroleum Host Community Bill; and Petroleum Industry Administration Bill.

According to the stakeholders, the passage of the Petroleum Fiscal Bill had become imperative as it has the potential of encouraging sustained investments, growth and revenue to government; serve the socio-economic needs of all stakeholders; and clarify legislative aspects of the fiscal regime from the negotiable aspects of contractual obligations.

They also noted that the Petroleum Host Community Bill would ensure shared prosperity and sustainable development of petroleum host communities; provide direct economic benefits to host communities; and assure inclusiveness, enhance peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship.

Similarly, the industry experts also believe that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill would promote efficient, effective and sustainable development of the sector; encourage and facilitate local and foreign investment; promote transparency and accountability; promote liberalization of the downstream sector; and ensure best practices in petroleum operations.

They, therefore, faulted the prolonged delay of the passage of these crucial bills, pointing out that the non-passage of the bills has continued to deprive the country of the great potential for the growth of the sector and its improved contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Stakeholders canvassed the immediate passage of the pending bills given their socioeconomic and other potential benefits to the country.

Specifically, they charged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to expedite action on concluding the necessary reviews of these bills to facilitate their passage into law as soon as possible.