PIGB: NASS vows push for presidential assent

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PIGB: NASS vows push for presidential assent

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has vowed that the National Assembly will continue to mount necessary pressure to get presidential assent on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

Saraki made the vow at a dinner as part of activities at the ongoing 24th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja late Monday.

He noted that the resolve by the legislature to mount pressure to ensure the bill gets presidential assent has become necessary, given its importance to development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari had withheld assent on the PIGB following its passage by the National Assembly.

The President had also communicated its decline of assent to the PIGB 2018, citing constitutional and legal reasons in the bill.

Saraki said that it was unfortunate that the bill had not been assented to, saying that the National Assembly took it as a responsibility to drive the bill to a level it has never been in a decade.

He said, “That bill, a lot of people when we started said we cannot do it, but we demonstrated we have the political will and the commitment to do it.

“We passed the governance bill and it went to the executive.

“What I expected considering the kind of work that was done was for us both arms to seat down because the issues that were raised are not issues that are not surmountable.

“Unfortunately, after so many months, the bill has come back with a query that can easily be trashed out in a day session.

“Those in the petroleum sector will agree with me that they have never seen the engagement we saw in the governance bill.”

Saraki added that the Senate had also received the fiscal bill and had taken it to a point never been achieved before. He said a lot of the operators will be curious as to the fate of the fiscal bill if the governance bill was not assented to.

He said, “Our intention is to go back to the executive and seat down with them in the interest of Nigeria.

“This is a very good bill as most operators and the technical people in the sector commended it.”

The Senate president said the observation made on the bill was not enough reason to stop its assent because of the huge positive impact it would make in investments in the sector.