House of Reps receives bill to commercialize NNPC

243 views | Emmanuel Anthony | September 30, 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has transmitted the Petroleum Industry bill to the House of Representatives for passage.

It would be recalled that in the 8th Assembly, a part of the PIB was passed by the legislature but the president declined assent due to disagreement on certain provisions in the bill.

There has been reports that the new bill will scrap the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other agencies, however, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipriye Sylva has dismissed the reports, noting that the bill involves commercialization of NNPC.

Sylva made the clarification on Monday while speaking to journalists after meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly.

“We have heard so much noise about NNPC being scrapped but that is not envisaged by the Bill at all. NNPC will not be scrapped but commercialized in line with deregulation move being made across all the streams in the sector comprising the upstream, downstream and midstream.”

President Mohammadu Buhari transmits Petroleum Industry Bill to House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila read the letter on the floor Tuesday, September 29, 2020 on resumption from its seven weeks’ recess.

Gbajabiamila in his opening remarks stated that the House will commence work on the PIB.

Meanwhile, the federal government commenced the process to repay Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun and Rivers States’ money spent on federal road construction.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter read on Tuesday by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, seeks the approval of the House to repay the state a total sum of N148.1billion as promissory notes for federal road projects done by the state.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has rescinded the passage of the National Water resources bill over flaws in the procedure that led to its passage bill.

The bill has been generating lots of uproar following its earlier passage in July by the House.

Upon resumption on Tuesday, a member of the House, Ben Nzondo from Benue State moved a point of privilege and argued that the proper procedure was not followed on the bill.

The motion by Nzondo caused mild drama as members demanded that the bill be rescinded.

Speaking on the motion, the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase argued that the bill passed through proper procedure. He accused members of being absent on the floor of the House.

“How many of you were on the floor of the House that very day? Should we be changing the rules of the House midway?”

Also speaking, Kingsly Chinda noted that it’s not about merits or demerits of the bill, rather about the procedure. He noted that the motion to consider the bill relied on order 12 rule 18, rather than order 12 rule 16. Furthermore, he noted that the procedure also breached order 12 and rule 3 of the standing rules of the House.

In his ruling, speaker, Gbajabiamila noted that Nzondo had raised fundamental objections that must be looked into.

“The bill should be re-gazetted and brought back to the floor of the house for consideration and that way everyone would be satisfied,” he ruled.

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