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Senator Enang Clears Air On Petroleum Industry Bill

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Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang has made some clarifications on the status of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill 2018 [PIGB].

Senator Enang cleared the air in a press release he issued on Wednesday, August 29.

It should be noted that President Buhari is yet to assent to the Bill, while the PIGB will expire this week after 30 days of presenting the bill.

Following the expiration, the National Assembly can override the president through two-third majority or discard the Bill.

In the press release, Enang stated that “none of the reasons for withholding Assent by Mr. President adduced by the media is true”.

He explained, amongst other things, that one of the reasons for withholding assent is because “the provision of the Bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory commission to retain as much as 10% of the revenue generated unduly increases the funds accruing to the Petroleum Regulatory commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal capital Territory and Local governments in the country”.

He, therefore, pleaded with the National Assembly to hold its peace until the communication by Mr. President is read on the floor.

The statement titled “Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, 2018: Presidential Assent Withheld”, reads in full:

By Presidential communication of JULY 29, 2018 (one month ago) addressed to the Senate and House of Representatives, Mr. president did communicate decline of Assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, 2018 for constitutional and legal reasons stated therein.

By convention, it is inappropriate to speak on the content of Executive communication addressed to the Legislature until same has been read on the floor in plenary.

But I plead for the understanding of the legislature that due to the misrepresentations in the public domain and apparent deliberate blackmail which if not promptly addressed may set both the executive and the legislature against the public and even the international investment community, this be excused.

None of the reasons for withholding Assent by Mr. President adduced by the media is true.

In deference to the National Assembly I please state very limited of the rationale communicated to the legislature, to wit:

  1. a) That the provision of the Bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory commission to retain as much as 10% of the revenue generated unduly increases the funds accruing to the Petroleum Regulatory commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal capital Territory and Local governments in the country.
  2. b) Expanding the scope of Petroleum equalisation fund and some provisions in divergence from this administration’s policy and indeed conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalisation fund.
  3. c) Some legislative drafting concerns which, if assented to in the form presented will create ambiguity and conflict in interpretation.

Other issues therein contained.

May this please answer some of the issues raised until the communication is read on the floor.


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