PIB Passes First Reading in Senate

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By Deji Elumoye

The Senate yesterday resolved to debate the report of the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) presented to it at plenary.

This is just as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) sent to the National Assembly last Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari passed through first reading at the Senate plenary.

The Senate decision to discuss the MTEF/FSP document next week was sequel to the presentation of the report of the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning and Economic Affairs on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The report, which was presented during plenary, was laid by the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola.

President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, thereafter, directed the Committee on Rules and Business to ensure that all senators get copies of the MTEF/FSP report before the debate next week.

Also at yesterday’s plenary, the PIB passed through the first reading.

The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, presented the Executive Bill after which the Senate president read the bill for the first time.

Meanwhile, two senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday commended President Buhari for his ‘unique approach to governance’.

The senators, who took their turns to speak during the plenary, commended Buhari’s leadership style for prioritising the interest of Nigerians over partisanship.

Rising under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, the Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), praised Buhari for commencing the construction of Ibbi bridge in his constituency.

He stated that his constituency had written a letter of appreciation to President Buhari for a promise kept.

According to him, the resuscitated project, which connects Taraba State with Plateau State, “is a dream come true for the people of Taraba South senatorial district.

“We are very happy and want to extend our appreciation to President Buhari by presenting this letter on behalf of my constituents,” Bwacha said.

Also, Senator Matthew Urhogide (Edo South) praised the president over his decision to ensure transparency in the conduct of the governorship election in Edo State.

According to him, “The outcome of the recent governorship election signals the return of the country’s electoral process to the path of transparency and fairness.

“I want to put it on record that the people of Edo State wish to thank the president for making INEC and the Police to discharge their duties without fear or favour.

“This is why I’m coming from the Senate, to say it openly and clearly that what the president did to ensure free and fair election on September 19 in Edo State, gives hope to this country.”

In his remarks, the Senate President, Lawan said: “Today is a very good day for democracy in Nigeria.

“Even though some of our colleagues here are in the opposition, the two distinguished senators who spoke, eulogised the administration of President Buhari and the APC administration, and they have very solid grounds for doing so, and this is how it should be.

“I want to congratulate the PDP and the people of Edo State for winning the election. We look forward to October, when the APC would do the same here, and congratulate the president, the IG and everybody for free and fair elections in Ondo State.”