Posted on Nov 03, 2017
Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe Partner, Adeleke Alex-Adedipe was a Panellist at the just concluded Lawyers in Oil & Gas Retreat, themed: “Petroleum Industry Bill: It's implementation a panacea for a sustainable growth and self-reliance”.
In his speech titled: "the Role of Law Firms in the Passage and Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in order to Sustain Nigeria's Growth", he said that “the failure to pass this important legislation has stalled investments in this industry due to uncertainty. Unfortunately for us as a nation, while we continue to churn out various versions of the PIB since 2008; breaking it down to different pieces, investors have been diverting funds to more friendly climes; countries like Ghana and São Tomé and Príncipe, and a few other Sub-Saharan African countries.”
He also added that “Law firms will play a major role in enlightening the public on the benefits of the Bill even though it has been broken into 4 bills. With public awareness, the citizenry may prevail on their elected representatives to hasten the passage and assent of the PIGB and move on to consider the others. Thus by this, Lawyers and firms can induce or influence public awareness of the PIB in a bid to encourage the participatory passage of the bill in all its parts by promoting and participating in interactive public sessions/meetings and events of the relevant stakeholders, members of the host communities in question and the general public on the content of the PIB and the avoidable implications. This event is one of such importance that it will help to promote Public awareness and ensure the quick passage of the PIB.”
In conclusion, he stated that “the role of lawyers and law firms in the passage and implementation of the PIB cannot be underestimated as they could be said to be the trustee of the common man in ascertaining and ensuring that the rights of the host communities and general populace are fully protected and at the same time help their clients who are relevant stakeholders in the petroleum industry gain commercially from the passage of the PIB. As lawyers, we need to leverage on info and client feedback and knowledge of the law and research in assisting the legislators in producing the much desired PIB. Lastly, lawyers must also continue to ensure that the sauce of the legislation is not watered down.”