Pib Scales First Reading In Senate Again
SAN FRANCISCO, April 13, (THEWILL) – The much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has scaled first reading on the floor of the upper chamber as the Nigerian Senate commenced the process of passing the bill.
The bill, now known as ‘Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB)’ has passed first reading in the Senate three times without final assent.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives had recently harmonised a new draft of PIB and renamed it PIGB following a prolonged silence by the Presidency on the bill as well as the continued agitation for its passage by the citizenry.
Nigerians blamed the legislative arm of government over its failure to pass the PIB in two consecutive assemblies and for the rampant and prevalent corruption in the petroleum industry, which they said the bill set out to salvage.
The bill was first introduced by the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and sent to the sixth Assembly.
The failure of the sixth Assembly to pass the bill compelled the immediate past government of President Goodluck Jonathan to re-present the bill to the seventh National Assembly.
The seventh Assembly also failed to pass the bill as a result of stiff opposition from Northern lawmakers, especially over the allocation of 10 percent royalty to oil producing communities in the bill.
The increasing criticisms over the non-passage of the bill therefore compelled both Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to repeatedly urge President Muhammadu Buhari to present a new PIB the to National Assembly.
But perceived indifference from Buhari to the presentation of a new bill in the face of persistent agitation from the public forced the National Assembly to take up the responsibility of drafting and harmonising the bill.
Story by David Oputah