Senator raises alarm over delay on PIB

The Ekiti senator raised a point of order in the senate.

Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC-Ekiti) on Wednesday in Abuja urged the Senate to embark on urgent action to address the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.

Mr. Adetunmbi also urged the Senate to resume investigations into the $1.1 billion proceeds allegedly paid to Malabu Oil Company from the sale of the oil block OPL 245 on March 25, 2011.

Raising a Point of Order, Mr. Adetunmbi said he had the privilege to seek an explanation on the current status of the PIB which passed second reading in March, 2013.

He observed that the delay in the consideration of the PIB was responsible for the large scale abuses and illegalities being witnessed in the nation’s oil sector.

He said that Nigerians were worried that the oil sector could not be properly regulated for the benefit of the country without putting in place an effective legislation.

“As a matter of privilege, I need to know the status of the PIB pending before this senate, long after it was committed to the relevant committee.

“Nigerians are worried that the non passage of that bill is responsible for many of the terrible things that are happening in the oil sector.

“The PIB after debate in this chamber was committed to the appropriate committee on Thursday, March 7, 2013.

“It would be one year next month and up till now, there seems to be nothing going on,” he stated.

Mr. Adetunmbi also observed that investigations into the Malabu oil scam were still inconclusive in the senate after it was committed to a committee for necessary action since July, 2013.

He said that investigations by some European countries to unravel the role of their citizens in the alleged matter were nearing completion while Nigeria’s parliament was yet to act on it.

He said that it would not augur well for the image of the senate if it did not conclude an investigation it resolved to conduct for the purpose of accountability.

“The Malabu oil probe was committed to a committee of this senate in July, 2013, that was about seven months ago.

“It would interest this senate that an international extractive industry advocacy group did a letter on July 5th, 2013 to the Italian and Netherlands government requesting for public investigation.

“The public investigation is to ascertain the role of companies from those countries in the Malabu matter as part of public accountability.

“As I speak to you, the Italian and Netherlands governments and parliaments are about completing their public investigation and that would be made public very soon.

“As senators, it is a privilege that we should know what is going so that the reputation of this parliament as an institution is not called to question.

“I fear the situation where, the European Parliaments are reporting issues that affect our own economy and our own apex parliament is not doing what supposed to be done,” he added.

The Senate President, David Mark, sustained the Point of Order and ruled that the relevant committees should take quick action on the issues raised by Adetunmbi.

The Senate also resolved to debate motion on the need to probe the illegal subsidy on kerosene being paid the NNPC on Thursday.

(NAN)


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