By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJAâ€”THE Senate Joint Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, has dismissed claims that the delay in the passage of the bill was as a result of the compromise of its members, saying that the bill will be ready for passage next week.
Senator Lee Maeba, who is the Chairman of the Joint Committee, made up of Committees on Gas, Petroleum Upstream and Down Stream, while briefing newsmen yesterday blamed the delay in the passage of the PIB on the strenuous work of the Senate.
Maeba said, â€œthe PIB is a document with over 700 pages, we received over 50 memoranda during the public hearing and we need to go through all this to ensure a thorough job. The insinuation that we have delayed in passing the bill is not correct.
â€œWe have been working on the bill. There are many challenges before us as Senators because most of the members of the joint committee are also members of other Committees of the Senate who are equally working round the clock to ensure quick passage of the bill.
We have the crisis that led to the declaration of the doctrine of necessity and most of the members are also members of the Senate Committee on the Review of the Constitution, all these challenges are what have led to the delay.â€
Senator Meaba then assured that the PIB will be presented to the Senate next week for eventual passage.
His words, â€œit has been a very serious responsibility and we are very serious and I want to assure the international communities, the oil companies and Nigerians that the PIB is almost ready. Now we have the final document which we will submit to Senate at plenary hopefully by next week.â€