Top media gurus would begin an engagement on how best to report and comment on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) going forward.
This, according to the organisers, follows brighter hopes that the Bill would become law this time around.
Anthony Ihianle, said to be the Outcome Support Officer, Accountability Workstream for the organizers, in a letter inviting the media practitioners, noted that the decision to bring together the media men for the two-day engagement session followed the recently concluded public hearing by the National Assembly and what he called the renewed commitment by the Executive in passing the bill.
He said the workshop seeks to provide comprehensive insight into all the components of the PIB including Administrative, Governance, Fiscals, Hosts & Impacted Communities and Gas.
He went on: “The workshop also seeks to improve the knowledge and capacity of journalists in reporting PIB-related issues and increase the level of public commentary to influence passage of the bill.
“As one of the outcomes of the engagement, participants will contribute to the development of a media engagement strategy which will be implemented to improve stakeholders’ understanding on the need to push for reform in the sector.”
The workshop would hold at Radisson Blu Hotel on Isaac Jones Street in Ikeja.
The PIB has had a 20-year checkered history without becoming a law, and this is said to have caused Nigeria hundreds of billions of Dollars in investments that left to other oil jurisdictions especially Angola and Ghana.
The absence of a law to effective reposition the Nigerian oil economy to compete with other oil economies in the past two decades has also been blamed for the deepening crisis in the sector and for violence in host communities because of the perceived injustice in the share of the barrel.
All this has given birth to what experts call conflict entrepreneurs who have carved a big space for themselves in the oil industry and have smiled to the banks at the expense of the growth of the oil economy.
Hopes are high again that the PIB is about to become a law no matter the perceived gaps in the present version. Experts advise the stakeholders to support the Bill, watch it gain traction, and demand for amendment.