By MUHAMMED S. BAH
Law makers on Wednesday, 21 December, 2016 passed the Petroleum Bill 2016.
The Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia, Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy, tabled the bill before Law makers
The bill was referred to by the Law makers as non-controversial and was passed with few amendments after scrutiny by the committee of the whole house.
According to the Vice President, the bill seeks to provide the legal framework for the importation, transportation, storage, distribution and marketing of these products.
She noted that there are bits and pieces of other legislations and regulations used to regulate aspects of petroleum products supply chain.
“This, though useful in filling the void due to lack of an overarching legislation, has resulted in different Institutions or departments issuing permits without adequate coordination and even more importantly, a coherent follow-up monitoring,” said VP Njie Saidy.
She added that the absence of legislation has also resulted in overlap functions.
“Cognizant of the need for the legislation to regulate the sector, the ministry of Petroleum and Energy in consultation with other stakeholders such as Ministry of Justice, PURA and NEA, drafted the Petroleum product bill which is been considered here today,” she stated.
Dilating on the objectives that the bill aims to achieve, the Vice President stated that the bill seeks to ensure the appropriate health, safety, environment standards and quality assurance.
In addition, she said it will ensure that petroleum products supply in the Gambia is adequate, reliable, efficient and economical for the country and for the consumers according to prevailing conditions at any given time among other objectives.
Seconding the bill, Hon. Lamin Jadama, member for Niamina West, described the bill as non-controversial and timely,
The Majority Leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta pointed out that few things on the bill need to be amended when it reaches the committee of the whole house.
The Deputy Speaker, Fatou Mbye, on her part expresses hope that the bill will address the needs of Gambian women on their mode of fuel for their daily cooking activities.
“The women will soon be using gas for their cooking because of the disappearance of the forest cover and few supply of the wood fuel, so therefore we welcome this bill that ensures that petroleum products and cooking gas are part of it,” she remarked.
She also expressed hope that this bill will ensure supply is adequate, efficient and economical.