The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led National Assembly is allegedly in talks with the leadership of the Assembly to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed before June 4, 2015 when a new legislative body will be inaugurated.
According to The Guardian the PDP has reportedly told its members in the Senate to ensure that a last-minute effort is made at passing the bill as a parting gift to Nigerians.
While the level of involvement of President Goodluck Jonathan in the renewed efforts could not be ascertained, it is gathered that those politicians as well as industry players from the South South are harbouring the fear that the bill may not be passed in its present form which seems to favour host communities.
The thinking is that there may be pressure on the in-coming President; Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the bill, which may not be in their interest. With the loss of the election by the PDP which will see President Jonathan make way on May 29 and the All Progressive Congress (APC) not making inroads in the South-South as well as a Northerner coming in as President, the feeling within the people from the zone is that it is now time to push for the passage of the PIB before the present administration comes to an end.
There is also the lesser reason that if the PDP allows the APC led government to pass the bill, it will take the glory for all the works the PDP has been doing on the bill in the last 10 years.
However, some of the controversial aspects of the bill still have to be resolved prior to its passage as the International Oil Companies (IOCs) under the aegis of Oil Producers Trade Section have said Nigeria risks losing $185 billion within 10 years due to higher taxes proposed by the new law in its current form, which could deter investment in the country.