Aminu Tambuwal, speaker, House of Representatives, on Tuesday, directed the ad hoc committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to submit its report within 21 days.
Tambuwal, who gave the directive while declaring open the 8th legislative session of the seventh Assembly, also directed the clerk of the House to activate the electronic voting system without further delay.
The 23-member ad hoc committee headed by Ishaka Bawa was inaugurated with a view to fine-tuning the PIB which scaled through second reading.
The House also conducted a regional public hearing as part of efforts to take input of Nigerians on the proposed bill.
While reacting to question on the alleged bribe demanded by the House before passage of the bill, Leo Ogor, deputy House leader, said, “I am giving you my assurance vis-à-vis that of the speaker that the PIB will be passed.
touch has been put into that bill and I want to also state that I’m not aware that anybody is asking anybody for a dime. You don’t need anybody to give you a dime to do your job.
“Our oath of allegiance is to the constitution of Nigeria, vis-à-vis the fact that we are lawmakers. So if somebody is going to ask for money before doing his own job, then that is an aberration. I doubt it sincerely. I hope it’s not some kind of cheap blackmail.
“But I know very soon that the bill will be passed and it is one bill that will do the oil sector a great deal of advantage. I can’t believe that somebody will have a situation whereby you ask for money to deprive the nation to have such a wonderful Act, which at the end of the day will open up our economy and which at the end of the day will have multiplier effects in the whole of the economy.
“So, we are quite worried and ashamed that Nigeria as a leading oil producing country is into importation of petroleum products. It is very embarrassing and if such a bill will put a stop to that, create wonderful job opportunities, why will a lawmaker ask for a dime from anybody? Except some sort of blackmail is emerging from some corners,” Ogor submitted.
While speaking on the activities of the Boko Haram in the North East region, the speaker announced that the House will contribute the sum of N200 million into the terror victim support fund.
On resumption from the closed-door session which lasted for over two hours where the lawmakers exhaustively deliberated on the terrorists’ attack on the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, Tambuwal directed the House Committee on Defence to liaise with the leadership of Senate and its committee on defence as to how to give maximum support to the Federal Government to address the scourge of Boko Haram.
He also assured that the House will look into whether there is any inhibition to get foreign support in combating terrorism.
He also directed the new ad hoc committee to send relief materials to the affected people in the three troubled states.
While raising a point of order on urgent national importance, Mohammed Munguno expressed concern over the activities of the insurgents, noting the dangerous approach adopted by the insurgents who are in control of about seven local government areas of Borno State.
He noted that all security formations in the affected areas have either been overran or that the operatives have fled their respective stations thereby enabling the Boko Haram to declare a caliphate.
Munguno lamented that “most government officials and civil servants had fled the area while the members of the Boko Haram operate freely unhindered in military camouflage uniforms while the military in the area has been overpowered by the members of the insurgents.”
He added that members of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda set up by the Borno State governor have been chased out of Marte by the insurgents, abandoning wheat in 5,000 hectares of land.