ABUJA—President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, said that the National Assembly has started consultation with the Executive arm of government on a new version of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, to be introduced in the 9th National Assembly.
Lawan made the disclosure during a meeting with representatives of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, who paid a visit to his office at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Representatives on the IMF delegation were: Amine Mati, Senior Resident Representative Mission Chief for Nigeria; Jesmine Raman; Zainab Mangga; Nanrup Ibrahim; Osana Odonye; and Harrison Okafor.
He said, “Going forward, the Petroleum Industry bill as referred to, has defied passage over the years since 2007.
“In 2011, there was another effort by the government, that bill was not passed as well. In 2015, there was a legislative effort and the PIGB was passed eventually, but at the end of the day was not signed.
“So, we came up with a new idea in the 9th National Assembly, that the fact that the Executive tried by drafting a bill and brought it here for two tenures, then the legislature tried to do it on its own, none saw the light of the day.
“This time around, we should actually interact and collaborate more even before the bill is born.‘‘
“Let the Petroleum Industry bill be one of the Executive and Legislature, and that means starting to work on the bill from scratch between both arms of government.
“We are in consultation already, and by the time that we are able to fashion out the bill, our committees will swing into action.
“We believe that this time around, the ninth National Assembly will break the jinx and should be able to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill,” Lawan said.
Speaking on the relationship between the International body and Nigeria, the Senate President said, “IMF has been a friend of Nigeria for a long time.
“Nigeria needs IMF, we are not contesting this.
We have our own challenges and have to borrow resources to implement, particularly the capital part of our budget. So, we always prioritize our budget to reflect our infrastructural needs. We want you to always be there to support us, we believe that you can give us advise that will help our economy.”