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Senate amends, passes PIGB, other bills earlier rejected by Buhari

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The Senate on Wednesday passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) and some others earlier rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The PIGB is aimed at having the Nigerian petroleum regulatory commission as a one-stop regulator that will see to the licensing, monitoring and supervising of petroleum operations, and also enforcing industry laws, regulations and standards.

Other bills the lawmakers passed along the PIGB are the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism bill 2019, National Research and Innovation Council bill 2019, Stamp Duties act (amendment) bill 2019 and National Agricultural Seed Council bill 2019.

Also passed are Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (amendment) bill 2019 and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) act 2010 (amendment) bill 2019.

The passage of the bill came after Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, moved a motion and referred for the committee of the whole for consideration.

The bills had earlier been sent to Buhari, but he rejected them.

Consequently, the Senate set up a technical committee to review the bills. After the committee effected corrections in respect to issues raised by Buhari on the bills, the senators considered the clauses of each of the bills and passed them on Wednesday.

Among other things, Buhari had rejected the bills on issues bothering on legal, constitutional and drafting.

Particularly on the PIGB, Buhari had pointed at “legal and constitutional reasons” as reasons he withheld his assent.

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His aide on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang had said, “That the provision of the Bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory commission to retain as much as 10 percent of the revenue generated unduly increases the funds accruing to the Petroleum Regulatory commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal capital Territory and Local governments in the country,”

“Expanding the scope of petroleum equalisation fund and some provisions in divergence from this administration’s policy and indeed conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalisation fund.

“Some legislative drafting concerns which, if assented to in the form presented will create ambiguity and conflict in interpretation.”

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