Abuja – Contrary to claims that President Muhammadu Buhari was delaying assent to the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB), the presidency on Wednesday confirmed that it had not yet received the bill.
The harmonised bill by the National Assembly was passed on March 28, 2018, and was believed to have been transmitted to the president for assent soon after.
But Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, in a two-paragraph statement dated May 16 and made available to State House correspondents, said his findings revealed that the bill was still undergoing standard operating legislative processes of the National Assembly preparatory to transmission.
A number of civil society organisations have been mounting pressure on Buhari to quickly assent to the bill to address challenges identified in the sector.
But it was believed that Buhari was withholding his assent in order not to rob him of some regulatory power or control within the sector.
Enang said: “Further to several enquiries by the media, interest groups, and the public in respect of within named Bill, may I please state that the said Bill has not yet been transmitted by the National Assembly to the president.
“From my enquiries, the Bill is still undergoing standard operating legislative processes of the National Assembly preparatory to transmission, please.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Omotayo Alasoadura, had promised that the harmonised Bill would be presented to Buhari on March 30.
The initial delay was thought to have been caused by the fact that March 30 coincided with Good Friday during which Buhari was in Lagos State for an official visit.
The bill is expected to instill best global practice in the oil industry.
The post PIGB Not Yet With Buhari —Presidency appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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Author: Innocent Oweh