• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Lawan urges Legislature, Executive to work together to ensure PIGB becomes law

Lawan

For the second consecutive day, the issue of Petroleum Industry Bill took centre stage at the ongoing ministerial screening by the Senate.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan who presided over the session on Thursday, called for synergy between the Executive and the Legislature to enable Nigeria get the long awaited bill passed into law.

This, he said, would prevent a situation where both arms of government worked at cross purposes on the matter in the past.

The proposed law, which was conceived to liberalise the governance structure of Nigeria’s oil industry and passed by the Eighth National Assembly, was twice rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari on the grounds that, among other reasons, it would whittle down his power as minister of petroleum resources.

Responding to a plea by a ministerial nominee and immediate past Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Tayo Alasoadura, urging the Ninth National Assembly to revisit the all important bill, Lawan assured that petroleum-related bills would be given urgent attention as soon as the standing committees are constituted.

He said: “The option we have today is for the executive and the legislature to come together and look at how to go about this business of the PIGB. Because since we tried individually and failed, I think the time has come for us to sit together, work out either one Petroleum Industry Bill or separate bills. Doing it together will give better chance of having a bill or bills that will be worked on by the National Assembly and assented to the President.

“As soon as our committees are reconstituted, the petroleum-related committees will swing into action. Because I think we have all the materials that we need. Right from 2007 when we entered here up to the last day of the Eighth Senate. All the materials are here. All we require is to have that synergy so that we are able to come up with something that will provide to us more revenues but also support and sustain investments through reasonable profits by those in the business”.

Also in his submission, Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya urged Alasoadura to bring his wealth of experience to bear in the executive and lobby the Presidency to ensure assent to the PIGB.

BusinessDay reports that the bill is one of the oldest in the nation’s legislature, having been first introduced by late President Umaru Yar’Adua to the Sixth National Assembly in 2007.

Speaking earlier on Wednesday during his screening, Uchechukwu Ogah had tasked the Ninth National Assembly to carry out the reforms embedded in the Petroleum Industry Governance (PIGB) Bill to unlock its huge potential to economic growth.

 

OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja