New plot against Petroleum Industry Bill thickens

October 15, 2020
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Some federal lawmakers from the Northern part of the country are said to be plotting against the Petroleum Industry Bill to avenge the silencing of the Water Resources Bill during its debate on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila had on Wednesday announced during plenary that PIB will go for a second reading next week Tuesday.

But sources revealed that some lawmakers, majority from the North have perfected plans to block the bill in revenge for how the Water Resources Bill sponsored by them was shouted down

The Water Resources Bill which if passed will vests the right to use, management and control of surface water, ground waterbeds and banks affecting more than one state to the Federal Government, was previously rejected in 2008 but was reintroduced to the National Assembly in 2020.

The House of Representatives at its plenary on September 29, 2020 withdrew the Water Resources Control Bill which it passed a few months back, and instead resolved to gazette the bill for reconsideration.

This development did not go down well with some lawmakers who saw it as their birthright to ensure it sails through, and are ready to take the passage of the PIB as a payback.

According to a source, those plotting to rubbish the bill have the numbers to rubbish it but they will be truncating the future of their generations yet unborn.

“And in this new PIB the frontier states are highly favoured so if these alleged dangerous elements among us decide to kill this new PIB who loses,” he wondered.

“Well the PIB is almost belated, if it was passed 20 years ago then maybe we would have all benefited because today the value of crude oil is fast deteriorating. We are in a hurry to pass it now because it’s now favourable to these same elements who don’t know it’s favourable to them.

“By next week Tuesday, we will start debating PIB and the bowels of the bill will be properly and exhaustively examined for all Nigerians to see.

Another prominent lawmaker from the South South geo-political zone described the move of those who want the bill killed for lack of wisdom. The ranking member apparently disturbed said: “well I just hope the Bill will not sink like it sunk in the previous assemblies.

“At the twilight of the sixth Assembly it died, at the twilight of the seventh Assembly we passed it but the Senate didn’t concur, at the twilight of the eighth Assembly it was almost a done deal, dangerous elements among us ‘killed’ it technically after it was rejected by Buhari.

“Now we are on it again I just hope it’s not another jamboree like the previous jamborees,” he added.

The Federal Government re-introduced a revised version of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the National Assembly last September, and was read the first time in the Senate on September 30, 2020.

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