By Naomi Sharang
Abuja, April 27, 2021 The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Amendment Bill in May and June, respectively.
Lawan stated this while playing host to visiting UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, and other officials in Abuja.
He said that the national assembly was doing its best to ensure that the PIB was passed expeditiously.
“The National Assembly is working tirelessly to ensure that we pass the PIB which is a very important piece of legislation for our country.
“This time around we have devised different means and ways of ensuring that it is not only passed by the parliament but it is assented to by the President.
“Our belief is that we have long been working together with the executive arm of government to ensure that we don’t leave any gaps that will engender unnecessary controversy between us on the bill and so far it has been paying off.
“The bill is on its final journey into the Senate and the House of Representatives chambers for consideration.
“We are expecting that by the first week of May, we will be able to receive the report of our committee on the PIB. Our design and desire is that we are able to pass the bill before the end of May,” he said.
The senate president said that the lawmakers believe it was also the position of the House of Representatives that they are able to pass the bill simultaneously.
“We think that this is one legislation that will change the economic fortune of our country because it will make a huge difference in our earnings from petroleum resources that we are endowed with.
“But we also believe that this is one piece of legislation that will give significant or sufficient incentives to the oil companies, especially the International Oil Companies(IOCs) doing business in Nigeria.
“On the Electoral Amendment Bill, we have been working on that. It is also our programme, we will be able to pass it before we go on summer break. We are hopeful that we will be able to pass the bill before the end of June,” Lawan said.
Earlier, the visiting UK minister indicated interest in the progress made by the National Assembly on some Bills such as the Electoral Reforms Bill and PIB.
He also sought to have a view of the Senate Chamber to know the differences and similarities with the British parliamentary chamber.