Fresh anomalies stall transmission of PIGB by National Assembly to Buhari
Stakeholders list benefits of legislation
Three months after both chambers of the National Assembly passed the harmonised version of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), freshly observed anomalies have stalled its transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
At plenary yesterday in Abuja, Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, while moving a motion asking that the harmonised bill be brought back for ‘fresh legislative action,’ observed that some grey areas were later seen in the proposal during scrutiny by the National Assembly Legal Department.Consequently, the bill, which was passed in March this year by both chambers, was referred to the Senate Conference Committee.
The panel is to fine-tune the anomalies and submit its report for approval.Relying on Order 1 (b) of the Senate Standing Orders, Lawan disclosed that the “National Assembly Legal Department, which was carrying out a clean-up exercise on the bill for onward transmission to the President, observed some contentious areas.”He therefore moved a motion that the bill be referred to the conference committee that earlier worked on it.
The motion was seconded by Senate Minority Whip, Phillip Aduda.In his remarks, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urged the committees to submit their report next week.“The chairmen of two committees, Senators Tayo Alasoadura and Buka Ibrahim, will have a deadline of one week for this report to come out before we go on break. We must consider the conference report and pass it,” he stated
In the meantime, stakeholders in the oil and gas sector say the passage of the piece of legislation would move the nation into the realm of an oil economy that creates massive jobs through localised economic opportunities.
Speaking at a forum organised in Lagos by the Centre for Financial Journalism, the stakeholders, drawn from the media, legal profession and other professionals, the Senior Partner at Primera Africa Legal, Mr. Israel Aye, said the law would result in the building of efficient and effective institutions with clear roles and commercial-oriented and profit-driven petroleum entities. He explained that the law would engender a transparent and accountable sector with near zero tolerance for corruption.