Senate passes PIGB

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Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate, on Wednesday passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

The red chamber also passed 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.

Others are Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (amendment) Bill 2019 and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill 2019.

The bills were passed after Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, moved a motion and referred for the committee of the whole for consideration.

Buhari had initially rejected all the bills after which the Senate set up a technical committee to review them.

After the technical committee effected corrections, the Senators considered the clauses of each of the bills and passed them on Wednesday.

The President had cited legal, constitutional and drafting issues as his reasons for rejecting the bills.

In the case of the PIGB, the President raised “legal and constitutional reasons” as reasons he had withheld assent.

The PIGB seeks to establish the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission as a one-stop regulator that will be responsible for licensing, monitoring, supervising petroleum operations, as well as enforcing industry laws, regulations and standards.

The bills will have to also be passed by the House of Representatives before they can be sent to President Buhari for assent.