*May Override President’s Veto on Oil Sector Reforms Bill

Reps set up 30-man C'Mittee to accelerate passage of PIB

By Tordue Salem – Abuja

The House of Representatives is set to pass the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill into law, in September.

A thirty-member Committee, with five members drawn from each of the six geo-political zones of the country, is expected to start work on the Bill in the third week of this month, VANGUARD learnt on Friday.

The Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu who spoke to the reporter on Friday, said the House would go ahead with the process of amending and passing the petroleum Industry Bill bill, even without the input of Executive.

He was responding to questions on whether the Bill was presented to the House, by the Executive, for reconsideration.

“We don’t need the Executive to tutor us. We are going ahead with considering the Bill. An Ad hoc Committee has been set up with five people per zone, plus House Whip as Chairman and the Chairman on Banking and Currency(Rep. Victor Nwokolo), as his Deputy”, he disclosed.

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Several attempts since Friday, to reach the mobile phone number of the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on PIB, Rep. Mohammed Monguno(APC-Borno), for his comments, failed up to the time of filing this report.

But the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Nwokolo who spoke to VANGUARD on phone, disclosed that the Committee will start work on the Bill third week of this month.

“We are commencing work on the third week of August on the Bill”, he disclosed.

Earlier, another lawmaker, Rep. Nicholas Ossai, however, advised the president to cooperate with the National Assembly on the piece of legislation, so as to enable more investments in the oil and gas industry.

“I expect the President to lay that Bill before the National Assembly in September so that we can deal with the issue, so that a lot of investors can come into the oil and gas industry and create jobs”, Ossai advised.

The Petroleum Industry Bill was originally introduced to both chambers of the National Assembly, in December 2008. The piece of legislation, has since, undergone several revisions and has been the subject of controversy and debate.

On 18 July 2012 President Goodluck Jonathan presented a new version of the Bill to the seventh National Assembly for reconsideration and re-enactment. The Parliament did, but the Petroleum Industry Bill was not signed into law, until that regime lapsed in 2015.

The House and Senate, are expected to resume the business second week of September 2020.

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