National Assembly Re-works Bill, PIGB Suffers Setback
The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill has suffered a setback two months after it was passed by the National Assembly.
At the plenary on Wednesday, the Senate referred the bill back to the Conference Committee on the Petroleum Industry and Governance to consider the “fundamental issues” raised by the Legal Department of the National Assembly, which recommended a fresh legislative action.
The Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, moved a motion for the referral of the PIGB and the Climate Change Bill to the respective committees for review.
Lawan said, “The Senate recalls that the Climate Change Bill, 2018 and Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill, 2018 were passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and transmitted to the Clerk to the National Assembly for onward transmission to the President for assent on the 5th and 10th of April, 2018, respectively.
“The Senate notes that after critical examination of the bills, the Directorate of Legal Services of the National Assembly observed some fundamental issues, which require fresh legislative action.
“Relying on Order 1(b) of the Senate Standing Rule, the Senate accordingly resolves that the bills be referred to the respective Conference Committees (Conference Committee on the Climate Change and Conference Committee on the Petroleum Industry and Governance, respectively) that had earlier worked on them to consider the observations raised by the Directorate of Legal Services and report back to the Senate within one week.”
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, put the prayer to voice vote and it was unanimously granted. He referred the bills to the committees, asking them to report back in one week.
The Senate had on March 28, 2018, passed the harmonised version of the PIGB.
The passage followed the adoption of the report by the Conference Committee on the PIGB, which harmonised the versions earlier passed by the Senate and House of Representatives.
The harmonised version of the bill seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and merge its subsidiaries such as the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency into one entity.