Petroleum Industry Bill falls on deaf ears again

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The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), An Act to establish the legal and regulatory framework, institutions and regulatory authorities for the Nigerian petroleum industry, suffered a deafening setback again in the Senate when the Bill was stood down shortly after it’s sponsors Wednesday brought it up for debate.

The Bill which has now become what analysts regard as the most scorned Bill on the floor of the National Assembly, was quickly withdrawn by the sponsors, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, the deputy majority leader and  Tayo Alasoadura, the main sponsor of the Bill, when it became obvious to them that the Senate members present had no appetite to entertain it’s hearing.

The bill was stood down earlier in April because copies of the document, meant to be presented for second reading, were not available to lawmakers.

The PIB was first introduced in the National Assembly in 2008 as an executive bill by the late president, Umar Yar’Adua. However, the sixth National Assembly (2007–2011) failed to pass it. It was re-introduced in 2012 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In June 2015, 47 out of the 360 members of the House of Representatives in the seventh Assembly (2011–2015) were present when the bill was passed a few hours to the end of their tenure. But the bill failed to get a concurrent passage from the Senate.

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