…Speaker gives ad-hoc committees Sept 30 deadline

Chibisi Ohakah

The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, has assured that the orchestrated Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed in the lifetime of the current 9th National Assembly.

Addressing plenary as the House resumed from a six week recess, the Speaker urged all the ad-hoc committees setup by the House at the inception of the 9th Assembly to expedite action on issues before them and handover to standing committees by September 30.

“In this session, the House of Representatives will consider important legislation such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). I believe that we in this 9th Assembly are ideally suited to surmount the obstacles that have mitigated against the passage of this essential reform legislation which is important if we are to properly address the structural, operational and policy challenges and inefficiencies in the Nigerian petroleum industry, and position the industry to best serve the interests of all the Nigerian people,” he said.

According to him, in addition, to the passage of the PIB, the 9th National Assembly will see the reintroduction of the of Bill prohibiting estimated billing in the power industry, intended to put a permanent end to the wastefulness and unfairness created by an unreliable and arbitrary system that imposes unforeseen costs on individuals and businesses alike.

“The Education Bank Bill, designed to ensure that no child in this 21st century is unable to get a quality tertiary education in Nigeria due to a lack of means and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Bill which will serve to broaden the Local Content Act and ensure the original intent of the Act is made real in the lives of our people,” he said.

Gbajabiamila confirmed that before the recess, significant work had started on the bills. “We had begun legislative action through the consideration of 13 bills including Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill 2019…”

He also promised that the House will deal with the issues surrounding the underutilization of the Eastern ports. “The ad– hoc committee set up to investigate the underutilization of the Eastern ports has held several events, including a well-attended public hearing.

“We will shortly receive and consider the committee’s report on the floor of the House, and take whatever action is required to ensure that these vital national assets are put to more effective use,” Gbajamiala promised.

Chibisi Ohakah

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