Home Uncategorized Reps put aside PIB over contentious clauses

Reps put aside PIB over contentious clauses

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• Refuse to clear Alison- Madueke over shady oil deals

With just a few days to the end of the 7th Assembly, members of the House of Representatives yesterday suspended further consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) due to the sectional line the consideration of the report appeared  to have taken.

Chairman, Committee of the Whole House, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha halted further consideration of the report when he discovered that the argument over some contentious clauses has taken on regional dimension.

He mandated the ad hoc Committee to do further work on the contentious clauses to enable the House make informed decision when consecration resumes.

Before then, members from the South and North were at variance over what percentage of national fund should go to certain projects in their areas.

He said: “What  we  have seen on the floor is a political and emotional solution being put forward by members but what we need is a technical solution.

“What we must realise is that the import of the PIB is very critical to every Nigerians because the National Assembly has been accused at various times for not passing the Bill.

“So, we have to take our time to pass it and pass a bill that can stand the test of time. The committee should go back and involve technical people so that whatever we support at the end of the day will be in favour of Nigeria.

“You have to come up with figures that can be defended by the House. If we go into voting now, it will only be political voting but we have to be technically guided to be able to do the best for Nigeria.”

Also yesterday, members kicked against the consideration of a report clearing the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke of any wrong doing in an alleged shady sale of seven oil blocs.

The report which was put together by an ad hoc committee headed by the Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Muraino Ajibola cleared Alison-Madueke of any misdeed in the transaction.

Specifically, the ad hoc committee was to investigate the alleged shady deal involving the Mrs. Alison-Madueke, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC), the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company ( SPDC), Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, Septa Energy Ltd, and any other entity with respect to the farm-out or allocation of a oil mining leases ( OMLs) 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42.

The contentious report of the ad hoc committee was laid before the House  on the 13th of February last year and brought up for consideration yesterday. Though Muraino, the chairman of the committee was absent, the Acting Speaker,  Ihedioha brought the report forward for consideration by members.

But members who were angry having read through the recommendations of the report refused to allow it be considered.

Of the three recommendations, the one that irked members most was “that a clear bill of health be given to all parties involved in the transaction as the entire transaction conformed to all applicable laws.

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