James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday declined comment on the ongoing controversy over the fate of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which had since been passed by both the Senate and the lower chamber of the National Assembly and said to be â€œawaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.â€
Although, National Assembly sources have variously indicated that the legislative arm had done its part on an aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which had been unbundled into four parts to simplify its complex form and ease consideration and passage, it is however, difficult to ascertain whether the document had actually been transmitted to the presidency as currently insinuated.
Presidency sources have denied the PIGB is currently before Buhari.
THISDAYâ€™s efforts to get the spokesman of the House, Hon. Abdulrasaq Namdas to provide clarification on the controversy were futile. Namdas, known for his pro-activeness in attacking and deflating contrary views to the position of the House on any issue, curiously declined to comment on the PIGB issue, raising suspicion that the bill, though passed by parliament, may not have been transmitted to Buhari for his assent.
A clarification on the issue had become necessary against the backdrop of ongoing insinuations that the president was unlikely to assent to the bill because part of its clauses appeared to be in favour of core oil producing states as against most of the Northern states which are not regarded as oil producing entities which should benefit from the derivation formula.
Several calls to Namdasâ€™ mobile line by THISDAY was neither answered nor returned while a text message on the issue was not replied as of the time of filing this story.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara recently said the PIGB was awaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to become law.