President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has assured stakeholders in the petroleum sector that the 8th Senate will live up to the yearning of Nigerians by passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which will add value and restore the pride of the industry.
Senator Saraki stated this when he played host to the In-coming Chairman, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Mr. Fredrick Reinfeldt and his team in Abuja.
He added that the Senate is not unaware of the possible implication of EITI sanctions just as he assured that the present administration will ameliorate efforts to ensure that Nigeria meets the global practice and avert possible suspension by the global watchdog.
He admitted that the release of the nation’s audit report of 2013 on oil and gas and solid mineral was overdue for publication but was quick to reaffirm that, “we in the parliament are ready to partner the Nigeria Extractive Industry and Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
“Transparency and accountability in the petroleum industry is paramount if we are to achieve our goals. We should look at how best to handle the information. We should show good value considering the potentials and the necessity of the report.
“One of the issues confronting us is the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill. The 8th National Assembly is very ready to do things differently. We are assuring you that immediately after the passage of 2016 budget, our focus will be on the PIB to address all the grey areas.
“We need to move away from the way of the past. My encouragement is that, although, oil price is down, we will efficiently play our role more importantly. We should be able to manage our revenue for the benefit of our people.
“I want to assure you that the issues raised would be debated. You have partners in the All Progressive Congress, (APC), government led by President Muhammed Buhari and also in the National Assembly,” Saraki assured.
In his reaction, the in-coming Chairman, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, (EITI), Mr. Fredrick Reinfeldt, noted the important role Nigeria plays in the continent of Africa, saying Nigeria requires more consistent support from EITI.
Reinfeldt stressed that oil and gas are meant for the benefit of the people and should be channeled in the right direction.
The EITI boss said: “It is very exciting to come to Nigeria. We are in Nigeria to help in our discussion and to sharpen the standard in tandem with the global market.
“We have been to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and now in the Senate to discuss the possibility of the audit report of the NEITI and for the Senate to fast-track the publication of the report to avert possible sanction by EITI,” Reinfeldt stated.