By Deji Elumoye
The National Assembly has hinted of its desire to reconvene soon to consider the revised Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) of the executive arm.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, who made this disclosure to THISDAY yesterday, said the federal parliament would not hesitate to cut short its annual vacation to consider the bill once it is forwarded by the executive arm “before the end of our annual vacation on September 15.”
Basiru, who was responding to last Thursday’s submission of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Silva, that the executive will request the legislative arm to reconvene to consider the PIB, stressed that the leadership of the National Assembly has the prerogative to reconvene anytime in the best interest of the country.
He said: “The leadership of the Senate has the prerogative to reconvene if need be at any time in the interest of the country.”
According to him, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is on the priority agenda list of the ninth National Assembly, adding that the Senate needs not be lobbied before carrying out its constitutional and legislative duties.
According to him, “The Senate does not need to be lobbied to carry out its work by anyone. We are always alive to our responsibilities. The PIB is a priority in the legislative agenda of the ninth Senate, and we have been working with the executive to ensure expeditious presentation and passage in the interest of Nigeria. In fact, we delayed our recess in anticipation of the presentation of the bill before proceeding on recess.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum resources had said last week that “in coming few days, we will be requesting the National Assembly to specifically reconvene to look at the Petroleum Industry Bill which may as well take some weeks before its passage after its presentation to the federal lawmakers.”
Syvia added that “we are in touch with the lawmakers who had assured us that the bill will not stay in the National Assembly more than six months after being forwarded to the lawmakers.”
He added that the drafting process of the bill had been concluded while the federal Ministry of Justice had also finished aligning the various sections of the bill..