A Bill for an Act to provide for the licensing, regulation and provision of incentives for the refining of petroleum in Nigeria has passed second reading on the floor of the House.
The Green Chamber said if passed into law, the bill would provide a conducive atmosphere for its local production.
The Bill was titled: “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Licensing, Regulation and Incentives to Petroleum Refineries in Nigeria and for Other Connected Matters Therewith.”
Giving insight into the bill, the sponsor of the bill, Hon Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, (PDP, Abia) regretted that there was no regulatory framework for refineries in Nigeria.
Nkem-Abonta argued that the prices of building materials such as cement and other products were due to the incentives given to local cement manufacturers to produce locally.
The lawmaker added that the local production of petroleum products from the local refineries would create employment.
He also pointed out that the country’s desire to turn around the oil sector could only be achieved if serious attention was paid on local production and regulation as well incentives for investors.
Nkem-Abonta urged the House to pass the bill so that the local refining of petroleum product could be achieved and its importation would become a thing of the past.
In his submission, Hon Simon Arabo (APC, Kaduna) said although the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB would have taken care of the refineries, there was need to provide a template for operators in the oil industry before the PIB was passed.
Hon. Oghene Eghoh (PDP, Lagos) said that the worry over the state of the refineries in Nigeria was because they look at them from the eyes of the western world.
While urging the House to set up a committee to look into the refineries, he appealed to the federal and state governments to stop destruction of what he called ‘illegal refineries’.
After much debate, the bill was passed into second reading and referred to the Committee on Petroleum Downstream (yet to be constituted) for further legislative work.