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By NBF News
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Hopes of passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the National Assembly waned over the weekend, as there is no document before the federal legislature for consideration.

The PIB forwarded to the Senate by the late President Umaru Yar'Adua in 2008 lapsed with the Sixth National Assembly on June 5, 2011, it was learnt.

The Presidency may have to re-introduce the Bill to the Seventh National Assembly.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Solomon Ita Enang said this in an interview in Abuja at the weekend. His words: 'There is no Petroleum Industry Bill in the National Assembly and in particular, in the Senate because, that Bill was introduced during the Sixth National Assembly and it lapsed with the Sixth Assembly.'

Enang offers more explanations: 'The Senate is inaugurated for a period of four years. At the end of the four years, the Senate stands dissolved and any thing that is pending stands dead unless it is re-introduced.'

'Therefore, if the President wants it, he has to send a letter, re-introducing it. The President has to send a covering letter, which he will attach to the Bill he wants because on the Bill that was earlier sent, there may be need for adjustments and some alterations, after all, they did some public hearings on the Bill. They would have known areas which will not fly.'

Enang, a three-term member of the House of Representatives, defended former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and his deputy, insisting that they did not abuse their offices as alleged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

'I still visit Bankole, I exchange calls with him, I speak with Nafada, I visit him. They are my friends. If they are in trouble today, none of them took the money to buy okporoko (stock fish) to eat.' Senator Enang reiterated that Bankole and Nafada were being made to answer for a collective decision taken by the House under their leadership.'