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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Senate Leader, Senate has no time for PIB now – says Boko Haram Senator Ndume

Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, on Wednesday, said the upper chamber had no time to consider the Petroleum Industry Bill now because the PIB was not the priority of the current administration.

Ndume said rather than dissipate time and resources on the PIB, stalled in the 7th National Assembly, senators had been preoccupied with how to first block leakages in the oil sector.

Ndume, in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, said the Senate had been looking at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act to determine the financial inflow and outflow of the corporation.

He said, “We are not talking about the PIB for now. The PIB got stuck somehow in the 7th Senate and this is a new government that definitely comes up with an idea of how it intends to run the oil and gas industry.

“This 8th National Assembly is determined to pass the PIB but coming to say when is a question very difficult to answer because right now, we have seven versions of the PIB. Maybe the final one will be presented by the 8th National Assembly.”

He said the Senate could not concentrate on the passage of the PIB now because there were so many unresolved issues about the content of the proposed legislation. He listed these issues to include “the community aspect, joint venture contracts and the partnership issues.”
Meanwhile the Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Lanre Tejuosho, on Wednesday asked Nigerians to place less emphasis on passage of bills but to insist on effective oversight activities by lawmakers.

Tejuosho, in an interview with journalists in Abuja, said the rot in virtually all the sectors of the nation’s economy could have been avoided if lawmakers had taken the issue of oversight seriously.

The senator said, “We keep on talking about sponsoring bills but looking back at all the Assemblies that we have had , this is the eight one, I realised that so many bills have been passed and I ask what the problem is.

“For me the problem is not introducing bills but the oversight function of the senate. There are so many wrongs today that could have been put right if the senators had done their oversight function properly.

“So I believe, rather than passing new bills, we should concentrate on how to perfect the oversight functions.

“If a bill should be uppermost on my mind today,   it is a bill that will ensure that any agency or parastatal that will prescribe punishment for agencies that fail in their responsibilities of implementing their budget or projects.

“In fact, any of the senators that is in charge of oversight of an agency and who did not point it out at the right time, that senator must lose his ranking right. Such a senator that fails in his oversight function should be penalised.”

He said that Nigerians would not be complaining about the poor power situation in the country if the senators in charge of the power sector had been performing their oversight duties.

Source Punch 

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