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PIB tops agenda as Reps resume today

By The Citizen
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Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and review of the 1999 Constitution will receive priority attention as the House of Representatives resumes today after their yuletide holidays.

Hon. Sam-Tsokwa (PDP Taraba), Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business gave this indication at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja. He said the House would give the constitution amendment exercise more attention to ensure that it is concluded this year.

He said: 'We are going to continue to implement the things we are committed to with Nigerians based on the legislative agenda. We believe we have kept faith with the legislative agenda and hope to improve on its implementation.'

On the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, Sam-Tsokwa said the bill was before an ad hoc committee and would be passed as soon as possible. According to him, 'as we speak now, the bill has gone through second reading in the House of Representatives. It is before an ad hoc committee specially constituted by the Speaker to ensure that work on it is expedited.'

He further said the House would also amend the Public Procurement Act, 2007 to ensure probity and transparency in government businesses.

The lawmaker lamented that the Act which was aimed at fast-tracking procurement and transparency had become a clog in the wheel of implementing the annual budget.

He said:  'The Act has to be amended to ensure that no one complains about the implementation of the budget but ensure that transparency and probity is maintained.'

He assured that the House would step up its oversight function of Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs, in 2013.

Sam-Tsokwa said the House passed the budget early enough to enable various committees to carry out their oversight functions, adding that the House would monitor the implementation of the budget on monthly basis.

On the delay in the passage of the 2013 budget, he said: 'We have finished our duty in passing the budget, the issue of assent is that of the executive.'