Nigerco Nigeria Limited, a legal metrology consultancy firm for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has kicked against certain provisions of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
Accordingly to the consulting group, certain provisions of the bill undermine the functions of the Weights and Measures Department of the Ministry, adding that if the Bill is not restructured, it would trigger huge revenue loss.
The Chairman of the firm, Yabagi Sani, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday.
He said the PIB will usurp the powers of the ministry as contained in items 65 of the Exclusive, Legislative List second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended); the Weights and Measures Act Cap W3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as Amended); and the Pre-Shipment Inspections for Export Act Cap P25 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007.
He said, “Firstly, a cursory look at certain provisions in the bill reveals the inadvertent erosion of some critical functions and activities of the Weights and Measures Department of the
Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments.
“Experts and other key players in the Industry are of the view that if the PIB is passed into law as it is, the Weights and Measures activities of the Federal Government will automatically and inevitably be obliterated.
“We should all agree that if the PIB as it is becomes law, it will have grave implications on the fiscal policy of the country resulting in humongous loses of revenue due to lack of checks and balance in the activities of the industry.”
He argued that the offending provisions will not only result in the creation of two parallel legal metrology institutions with same statutory responsibilities, but they are also opaque and patently encroach in Weights and Measures functions.
The firm urged the National Assembly to revisit the PIB, adding that the offending provisions should be expunged.
“The National Assembly should revisit the PIB with a view to amending the identified sections and provisions that run counter to the spirit and principle of transparency.
“Doing so is in the superior interest of the nation’s economic development and prosperity. The crux of the observation and attendant position and recommendations of enlightened observers and industry strategic key players is that, the PIB should not stand as it is presently crafted,” the chairman stated.