As part of the organization’s broader efforts to promote public awareness on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), SPACES FOR CHANGE (S4C) is pleased to present its latest easy-to-read handbook containing concise answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the (PIB).
A three-hour web conference, The PIB & YOU, held on Saturday, July 14, 2012 involving over 1,500 online participants across the globe generated an array of questions answered in this booklet. That first-of-its-kind online engagement led by five industry experts further unpacked varied social, economic, environmental and transparency concerns in the latest draft of the Bill addressed in this handbook.
Since its introduction over 4 years ago, the PIB continues to face persistent setbacks to its passage despite its enormous prospects for improving the technical, operational and regulatory efficiency in Nigeria’s oil industry operations. If passed into law, the PIB would obligate the government to make its oil deals more transparent and revenue earnings more accountable, ending decades of corruption that has diverted billions of dollars of oil revenue that could have been used to clean up oil-devastated poor communities and create employment for restive youths.
Among several reasons, the setback to its passage resulted mainly from the lack of adequate information on the basis of which lawmakers, citizens and industry stakeholders can make informed legislative decisions regarding the Bill. The scant citizen engagement and public consultation also fuelled popular resistance, foiling a major 2009 legislative attempt to have the oil bill passed. To depart from the false starts that stalled the passage of the Bill in 2009, S4C is offering this easy-to-read FAQ, written in non-technical language, to promote public awareness of the PIB.
Consistent with its mandate to increase citizen participation in public decision-making, S4C hopes that this FAQ handbook will provide useful information to keep citizens well informed, and also improve the quality of legislative debates and engagement among key stakeholders in the Bill passage architecture.
This document was prepared under the auspices of the organization’s FOSTER-supported Information Equity for Citizen Participation Project that campaigns for oil sector transparency and environmental justice in Nigeria.