21 July 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – NIGERIAN lawmakers will being a clause-by-clause debate on the new draft of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, in September when they return from their annual recess, according to the lawmakers.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives began their annual break on Friday.
This is set back to the wish of President Goodluck Jonathan for the speedy passage of the Bill which the president passed to parliament on Wednesday.
“The House (of Representatives) has received the PIB but will go on recess this week and resume on September 27. Only then can we start consideration of the bill,” Femi Gbajabiamila, a lawmaker from the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, said.
In the Senate, where Senate President David Mark acknowledged receipt of the Bill from the Presidency on Thursday, members expressed surprise that President Jonathan, well aware of their timetable, would forward the Bill to the National Assembly on the eve of the commencement of their break.
The PIB has been stuck in parliament since 2008 following what lawmakers said was the existence of different versions of the bill, and also strong opposition from oil companies to the new fiscal terms which they said would raise the cost of operations.