President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has, for the umpteenth time, assured Nigerians that the present Senate will expeditiously pass the Petroleum Industry Bill before it in order to make the sector more viable.
Mark, while addressing the Branch Executive Council (BEC) of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (PENGASSAN), led by the Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR) branch chairman, Comrade Isah Ibrahim during a courtesy visit in his office, said the 7th Senate was more concerned on the need to rejuvenate the industry and bring out the finest practice among the players.
He noted that despite the controversies that engulfed the passage of the PIB in the last Senate, “We in the present Senate are looking towards a judicious passage of the bill to ensure greater benefits to all stakeholders in good time.
“This sector is of national interest, DPR is like a watchdog in the oil sector. Staff must be well trained and equipped in order to face the task of efficient regulation. The nation looks up to the DPR; and to maintain check and balancing, players must live up to the standard.”
The Senate president assured the DPR that the Senate would continue to support the yearnings of the agency and ensure proper funding of the department so as to allow effective statutory functions.
Earlier, the branch chairman, BEC of PENGASSAN, Comrade Isah Ibrahim opined that DPR should be allowed to function independently in order to monitor and ensure standard practice in the industry.
He noted that the existence of two or more separate regulatory and monitoring agencies in the oil and gas industry would obviously create bottlenecks and confusion which may consequentially scare away potential investors.
Ibrahim, however, urged the Senate to properly structure the DPR in the PIB to effectively and efficiently carry out its obligations as demanded by national interest.