Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
As the lower chamber of the Nigerian National Assembly reconvenes after a six-week annual recess, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has assured Nigerians that the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be reintroduced and passed by the 9th assembly.
Gbajabiamila, who gave the assurance Tuesday in his speech at the resumption of plenary of the House of Representative, also urged ad-hoc committees setup at the inception of the assembly to expedite action on issues before them and handover to standing committees by September 30.
“In this session, the House of Representatives will consider important legislation such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“I believe that we in this 9th Assembly are ideally suited to surmount the obstacles that have mitigated against passage of this essential reform legislation which is important if we are to properly address the structural, operational and policy challenges and inefficiencies in the Nigerian petroleum industry, and position the industry to best serve the interests of all the Nigerian people.
He said in addition to the PIB, “We will see
the reintroduction of the of Bill prohibiting estimated billing in the power industry, intended to put a permanent end to the wastefulness and unfairness created by an unreliable and arbitrary system that imposes unforeseen costs on individuals
and businesses alike.
“The Education Bank Bill, designed to ensure that no child in this 21st century is unable to get a quality tertiary education in Nigeria due to a lack of means and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Bill which will serve to broaden the Local Content Act and ensure the original intent of the Act is made real in the lives of our people.”
Gbajabiamila, noted that before the House adjourned on July 25, significant amount of work had already started, stating that “We had begun legislative action through the consideration of 13 number of bills including Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, Physically Challenged (Empowerment) Bill 2019 and Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Bill 2019.
“We had also in that time received and debated 57 number of motions on a range of issues including the non Remittance of Contribution into the NSIFT by the Federal, States, Local Government and Some Public and Private Organisations
“Work on those Bills and those motions will continue, even as we continue to receive, debate and act on other new legislation.”
He therefore directed that “All ad-hoc committees to wind up and handover to standing committees by September 30.”
According to him, “I am also pleased to note that the standing and ad– hoc committees of the House of Representatives constituted before the recess have hit the ground running. The ad– hoc committee set up to investigate the underutilisation of the Eastern ports has held several events, including a well attended public hearing. We will shortly receive and consider the committee’s report on the floor of the House, and take whatever action is required to ensure that these vital national assets are put to more effective use.
“The Ad – Hoc Committee on the Legislative Agenda for the 9th House of Representatives have completed their assignment and submitted their report. That too will be tabled before the House for debate, amendment and adoption. It is this agenda that will serve as our touchstone in this 9th assembly and I look forward to a passionate and well-thought-out debate when the House meets to consider the draft agenda.”