The Senate has passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) after years of consideration.
The upper legislative chamber passed the bill after the senators considered clauses in the bill.
The bill was broken into four parts to allow easier passage.
While considering clauses of the bill, the senators disagreed on who would have the responsibility to guard against environmental degradation.
Some senators had wanted the ministry of petroleum resources to be responsible for taking care of oil spills and other forms of environmental degradation.
Hope Uzodinma, Senator representing Imo West, said the ministry of environment should be allowed to take care environmental conditions to ensure that the standard is maintained.
He said this would be in line with the new world order in cognisance to climate change.
Also speaking, Magnus Abe, Senator representing Rivers South-East, said the matter should not be left in the hands of the oil industry because they were after profits
“I think our recent experiences in this country, we all know the situation of the Niger Delta as a result of the lack of regulation in the oil industry,” he said.
“If we leave this matter in the hands of the oil industry, we will end up in a situation where we will spend our time fighting over issues that we should not be concerned with.
“I want to align myself with those who have suggested that environmental issue should take precedence over the bottom line so our people are safe.”
However, the senators agreed that the proposed Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission should work with the ministry of environment to protect the oil producing communities.
The Senators also agreed that the chairman, Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission should be appointed by the president and not the minister.
Speaking after the bill was passed, Senate President Bukola Saraki said it would ensure transparency and accountability and create and an enabling environment for the petroleum sector.
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