…As National Assembly resumes today

Once again, President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly towards prioritizing the lingering Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as the National Assembly resumes today, Tuesday, from the Yuletide recess.

Lawan said the absence of the single, oil sector legal document is affecting local business operators as well as foreign investments inflow in the oil and gas sector. He also decried the spate of insecurity nationwide which he said has equally taken a toll on pipeline breaks and oil theft by criminals. According to him, the spate of insecurity is of growing concern that requires the collective effort of the Executive and Legislature, alongside all tiers of government at the State and Local levels.

Lawal who spoke while welcoming Senate Press Corps who paid him a visit to felicitate with him on turning sixty-one recently, said, “Apparently and obviously, all hands must be on deck to ensure that we bring back a better security situation like we had before.

“Presently in many areas, we have so much happening that is destabilizing our communities with the killing of people, and I believe that we owe Nigerians the responsibility to intervene and work with the executive arm of government and other tiers of government, the State and Local Governments to ensure that we change the way that we approach security issues in this country.”

Calling for an immediate review of the security architecture of the country, Senator Lawan disclosed that in view of the recent escalation of insecurity in parts of the country, the National Assembly would take a definite position on the security situation in the country.

Lawan disclosed that upon resumption, the upper chamber will hit the ground running with the composition of the Constitution Review Committee in a week’s time.

Describing the early passage of the 2020 budget in December as a promise kept by the National Assembly to Nigeria, Lawan assured that the expeditious treatment accorded the appropriation Act will be extended to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to ensure its passage before the year runs out.

“You recall that the first six months before we went for our recess, the Senate was able to pass some very important and crucial bills, and thank God almost all of them have been signed into law by the President. I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr President for promptly assenting to most of these bills, and of course, the icing on the cake was when the Senate and House of Representatives passed the 2020 Appropriation bill.

“That was part of the promise we made to Nigerians when we were campaigning to be Senate President and we kept to our promise, and we must thank God that we were able to achieve that. Lawan added, “the Petroleum Industry Bill that has defied passage, we (National Assembly) want to break that jinx. Whatever the mystery, we are determined to ensure that we pass the PIB before the end of this year by the grace of God.

“The PIB is so important because until we are able to pass that bill, you cannot attract investments into the oil and gas industry. In the last ten years, there have not been investments in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. That is so important because we have lost so much. The enormous advantages and benefits will be important in catapulting the economy of Nigeria to the level that we desire.”

Chibisi Ohakah

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