…20 years after, will it scale through?
…as Reps start debate today
…there’s need for serious awareness campaign if it must scale through
The Petroleum Industry Bill, popularly known as PIB will today continue its 20 years dislocated sojourn in the Nigerian parliament as the House of Representatives commence debate.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) in this short analysis x-rays the Nigerian Methuselah Bill’s sojourn so far.
This is one piece of legislation that has seen four Nigerian Presidents since the year 2000 that it started an unending parliamentary sojourn.
In the sixth Assembly, the PIB was killed on the last day of plenary as some members of the House shamelessly shouted ‘we’ve not seen alert’ and the bill died.
In the seventh Assembly, the Aminu Waziri Tambuwal led House in 2011 passed it after a vigorous awareness campaign across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the Senate led by Senator David Mark couldn’t concur and again, the bill died in the seventh Assembly.
In the eighth Assembly, the Senator Bukola Saraki led administration performed excellently well and passed the Bill with the support of the House led by Yakubu Dogara, but President Muhammadu Buhari rejected it.
Many Nigerians may not know it, the bill died because the then leaders were not friendly enough.
Saraki was a sworn foe so whatever comes from him can never be good.
The Saraki Senate had to balkanize the bill into four parts for easy passage but despite all the efforts nothing good came from it.
Buhari’s New PIB:
Now that the parliament is now an extension of the executive arm of government and the present Senate president, Senator Ahmad Lawan has repeatedly told Nigerians that the president can never send anything bad to the parliament, then Nigerians should at least expect an easy passage of the almost belated bill this time around.
Both leaders of the Assembly, Femi Gbajabiamila and Lawan on assumption office vowed to pass the oldest bill in Nigeria.
But they had to wait for 16 months for Buhari to send his brand of PIB to the parliament.
In 2016, Buhari inserted N60 billion into the 2016 budget for frontier states even when oil exploration had not started.
As members of the House start its debate today, they should remember that crude oil may soon go into oblivion barely 20 years from now as the world is fast getting alternative sources of energy.
20 years has gone down the drain without success as Nigerian lawmakers will be remembered for spending two decades to pass one piece of legislation.
For it to scale through, dangerous elements in the assembly must first and foremost purge themselves of tribalistic tendencies and see the bill as another nationalistic assignment.
There must be a massive awareness campaign to ensure that the Methuselah Bill does not die again.
By the year 2030, electric cars and many alternative sources of energy must have taken over and Nigerians may have to drink their crude oil as our National Assembly work on the Buhari’s PIB simply entitled:
A ‘BILL FOR AN ACT TO PROVIDE LEGAL, GOVERNANCE, REGULATORY AND FISCAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE NIGERIAN PETROLEUM INDUSTRY, THE DEVELOPMENT OF HOST COMMUNITIES AND FOR RELATED MATTERS.