By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Women in Energy Network (WEIN) says that the long delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law has created lingering uncertainty in the oil and gas sector.
The network disclosed this in a statement by its president, Mrs Funmi Ogbue, in Abuja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva, says the PIB currently with the Executive will be sent to the National Assembly in two weeks time.
She said that the delay had cost the country huge sums in revenue due to lost investments.
“The existing oil and gas sector regulatory framework is amorphous and ineffective because of too many overlaps in responsibilities and accountability.
“The expedient passage of and purposeful implementation of the PIB is critical to addressing most of the loopholes in the management and governance of the sector.
“The PIB when passed into law will improve governance of the sector by strengthening institutions in the areas of clarity of structures, roles, accountability, transparency, and overall efficiency and effectiveness.
“The PIB will ensure that the focus of legislating the sector shifts from the present to the future,” she said.
She further recommended that the National Assembly should endeavour to engage in both law-making and oversight of the relevant agencies.
Ogbue added that they should deliberate on policies aimed at ameliorating the possible impact of the new developments, such as deregulation of the downstream sector on women in particular.
“The National Assembly should review all ongoing social investment programmes with a view to ensuring that they have sufficient focus on supporting and empowering poor women.
“WIEN will be willing to support the NASS in this review and also in proffering practical strategies and programmes that can improve these programmes and others that can improve the lives and livelihoods of poor women,” she said.
Ogbue noted that WIEN called for greater transparency, better efficiency, and a level playing field in the oil and gas industry.
She further demanded for more female involvement in the governance of the MDA’s in the energy industry by having greater participation at board levels. (NAN)