21 September 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – MR Emeka Ihedioha, deputy speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, says the National Assembly will ensure a quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law as it prepares to commence second reading of the bill early October.
Ihedioha said at the PIB stakeholders’ forum on Thursday in Lagos organised by the Nigerian Extractive Transparency Initiative, NEITI, that the legislators will consider the provisions of the bill closely to give the country a quality law.
He said: “Yesterday (Wednesday), we had an executive session with the members and Mr. Speaker told the House that we have no choice than to pass the bill. Some people said we are going to throw out the PIB. That is not true.
“We will not throw out the PIB. The House of Representatives will scrutinise the bill. It will not come out the way it was sent to us. It will be scrutinised and modified. It will be made to look like what it has to be. I must assure you that the bill will pass second reading.
“We have the sense of urgency, we are embarking on oversight functions next week, we will resume from the oversight functions following week, and then we will do the second reading of the PIB.
“I am giving you these details to tell you that we are conscious of the needs and the sense of urgency in the bill. We will have to cautiously take necessary steps that will not put us in any problem”.
Exonerating the National Assembly from the delay in the passage of the bill, he blamed the Executive arm of government partly for the delay.
“The PIB had a chequered history. It is one of the major legacies of the Yar’Adua administration. Unfortunately, the Sixth National Assembly could not conclude work on it before the Assembly ended,” he stated.