Home Nigeria PIB: Civil Society Organizations Fault National Assembly

PIB: Civil Society Organizations Fault National Assembly

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National Assembly
National Assembly

By Uche Amunike

Civil Society Organizations have faulted the National Assembly for not addressing the community, economic and environmental concerns in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
Among the organizations are, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, (CAPPA), We the People, Environmental Rights Action Friends of the Earth Nigeria, (ERA/FoEN) and Home of Mother Earth Foundation, (HOMEF).
The group condemned the members of the National Assembly during a briefing in Lagos, for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which they describe as ‘obnoxious and vexatious’.
Speaking during the briefing, the acting Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Chima Williams, condemned in all totality, the provisions of the bill especially the 3% mapped out for Host Communities Fund and the 30% pencilled for oil exploration in frontier business in Northern Nigeria.
His words: ‘The PIB failed to properly address the lingering issues of the Oil and Gas host communities.’
He believes the lawmakers’ position is a far cry from the yearnings of Oil and Gas host communities.
On his part, the Executive Director of ‘We the People’ Ken Henshaw, said, ‘The current version of the PIB failed to address community, economic and environmental concerns.’
The coalition regretted that its suggestions during the public hearing were not considered.
‘Unfortunately, it is regretful that our suggestions which emanate from a long history of work on the sector, engagements with stakeholders including oil-producing communities, and established international best practices have not been taken seriously in the Bills passed by both chambers of the National Assembly’, said Philip Jakpor, Head Communications, CAPPA.
Recall that on July 30 the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, House of Representatives, Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari would sign the PIB recently passed bill into law by the National Assembly as soon as it got communicated to him.
He made this announcement while addressing reporters, averring that President Buhari has already signed about 15 bills which were passed into law in the just-concluded legislative year.
El-Yakub gave the assurances that the Federal Government would implement the report of the National Security Summit presented to him by the Leadership of House of Representatives, adding that president Buhari had earlier directed all concerned people to study the report for implementation as soon as possible.
He did extol the National Assembly for maintaining a cordial working relationship with the Executive which, he said, contributed to the bills being signed.
His words: ‘Let me say that there is no perfect law. We all know that the exigencies of the moment determine the actions that people take. In the case of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, there already exists an Electoral Act. But it is in the wisdom of the lawmakers and those that sponsored the Bill that there needs to be some amendments to that Act.’
‘And because there exists in the legislative process, a framework that can be used to make amendments, that law is being amended. So, I believe that any law that we have today can be subjected to amendments in the future, depending on the circumstances and exigencies of that moment.’
When asked if the president did not respect the constitutional ideals of Separation of Powers as stated in the Nigerian constitution, El-Yakub dismissed it as mere insinuations and maintained that the president had demonstrated his high regard for the lawmakers, overtime.
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