The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (“PIGB”): Where to from here?
15.10.2018ACAS-Law, Oil and Gas
The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (the “PIGB”) has stumbled at the final hurdle as the Presidency withheld assent to the same. The PIGB was positioned as the pioneer of the reform programme with the idea being to break the Petroleum Industry Bill (the forerunner to the PIGB), into manageable segments and implement piecemeal reform.
Under Nigerian law, where the President withholds his signature to a bill presented to him, he is required to state the areas he wants amended before he signs the bill. If the National Assembly agrees with the President, the bill can be withdrawn for deliberation on the amendments suggested by the President. Alternatively, the National Assembly is empowered by the Constitution to overrule the veto of the President.
It is highly unlikely, at the present time, that the National Assembly would try or even be capable of overruling the executive with a two-third majority vote. Therefore, the only real avenue for the PIGB to recover from this setback may be through a new consensus. There is an urgent need to implement reform and it is imperative that the arms of government work together as standing still has become untenable. Nevertheless, all hope is certainly not lost, and these challenges present a unique opportunity for Nigeria to refurbish its oil and gas landscape and re-position itself for sustainable growth. The PIGB is not beyond repair, we would urge that all is done to repair it and take the bold step of passing it.
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