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PIB Tops Agenda As House Resumes Wednesday

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SAN FRANCISCO, January 15, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives will reconvene on Wednesday, January 16 after the Christmas and New Year holidays and will on resumption accelerate consideration of pending bills particularly the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and amendment of the 1999 Constitution.

Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Albert Sam-Tsokwa in a chat with National Assembly correspondents today disclosed the importance of both bills to the socio-economic and political development of the country while assuring their passage before the end of the year.

"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," he said.

Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the rules and business committee chairman said that the bill had been referred to an ad hoc committee led by the chief whip of the House, Hon. Ishaka Mohammed Bawa and would be one of the first bills to be handled by the House at resumption.

"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 Mr. Speaker to ensure that work on it was expedited," he said.

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

The legislator 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.

" The Act has to be amended to ensure that no one complain about the implementation of the budget but ensuring that transparency and probity is maintained," he said.

He assured that the House would step up its oversight function of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

On the 2013 appropriation bill, Sam-Tsokwa said that the House passed the budget early enough to enable the various committees of the House carry out its oversight function early too.

He said that the House would monitor the implementation of the budget on a monthly basis.

"We have finished our duty in passing the budget, the issue of assent is that of the Executive," he said.