Turaki A. Hassan and Hamisu Muhammad
The House of Representatives yesterday unanimously resolved not to pass the long-awaited controversial Petroleum Industry Bill popularly known as PIB.
Shortly after the lawmakers resumed consideration of the report of the joint committees on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream), Gas Resources and Justice's report on the PIB that has been hanging for the past three years, Rep Halims Agoda (PDP, Delta) argued that it was only the House of Representatives that was still working on the petroleum sector legislation as the Senate has since stood it down.
Agoda maintained that it would be a waste of time for them to continue considering the bill since the Senate had stopped work on it saying, "what will be the result? There is need for us to find out what the other house is doing.
For his part, House Leader Rep Tunde Akogun (PDP, Edo) moved a motion that the House stands down consideration of the report.
The House had on many occasions unsuccessfully attempted to resume consideration of the report but was met with stiff opposition by members following allegations that the original bill presented by late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua in December 2008 has been watered down by Multi-National Oil Companies (IOCs) which were said not to be comfortable with some of the provisions.
Meanwhile, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) said the killing of the PIB is another way of saying that they don't want stability of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, since the bill is all about engaging oil communities in dialogue, compensations on the environmental damage, reduction of corruption and irregularities in the sector.
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC said both the executive and the legislature have failed, adding that "we hope the next legislative session will act promptly about it.
"It was unfortunate even the legislatures from the oil communities have no concern about the bill because of their personal interest."
For Rev. David Ugolor of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), what happened is not only a setback for Nigeria but for President Goodluck Jonathan who appointed an incompetent petroleum minister.
Today, the members of parliament have confirmed to Nigerians that their parliament is not for the good of Nigeria but for their personal interest.