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Senate’s version of PIB won’t stand – Reps

..Move to probe job losses, tax compliance in telecoms sector

By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA —THERE are indications that the Senate and the House of Representatives are working at cross-purposes on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, pending in both chambers.

Though the Senate said recently it would soon pass the PIB into law, the House is yet to commence work on the Bill, which it passed in the last session.

This is even as the House has commenced a probe of telecommunications to determine whether there were irregularities in the employment status and conditions of Nigerians at home and abroad, with special attention on job losses, non-remittance of tax deductions and lopsided expatriate representation.

It was gathered that the oil industry bill in the Senate is silent on how to make the entire sector transparent, fuelling suspicion that some of the elements from the north that frustrated its passage in the 7th Senate are not relenting from having their way seeing the kind of PIB they want passed into law.

Senate’s version not detailed

But Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, said the Senate’s version would not stand since it lacks the necessary ingredients required to make it function well and address the challenges in the sector and oil communities.

Ogor, who represents Isoko Federal constituency of Delta State, said:  “PIB has a lot of issues at the moment, you have the Senate’s version, you have the House of Representatives’ version, you have another version which came from the ministry.

“If I am not wrong, we will probably be going to look at three different things entirely. There should be some level of consolidation.”

Job losses, tax compliance in telecoms sector

Meanwhile, the House has also commenced an investigation of telecommunications companies in the country to determine whether there are irregularities in the employment and working conditions of Nigerians at home and abroad.

Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, stated while inaugurating the committee, that all corporate entities in the country must operate within the laws of the land.

Dogara, who was represented by the Deputy Majority Whip, Pally Iriase, APC, Owan East/West Federal Constituency of Edo State, said,to this end, the House has inaugurated an adhoc committee to this effect.


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