December 4, 2023

Room 028 of the House of Representatives in the National Assembly Complex, venue of the public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, has been thrown into pandemonium following a fight by some attendants, Vanguard reports.

The individuals were said to be members of the oil producing communities who had come to make presentations on the bill.

The fight broke out exactly 12:10 pm when the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on PIB, Hon. Mohammed Monguno, who had been moderating the proceedings, called the host communities to make their presentations.

As the fight broke out, lawmakers and other participants started scampering for safety with proceedings put on hold.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had expressed disappointment with the inability of successive administrations in the country to ensure the passage of the PIB into law.

According to him, it was difficult to explain why the bill did not pass despite collective interest by all for the passage of the bill.

The 8th Assembly was able to pass a part of the bill after it was broken down into three distinct bills, namely the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB), 2016; the Host Communities Entitlement and Protection Bill, 2016; and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill.

The PIGB passed by the 8th National Assembly was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A harmonised bill was forwarded to the National Assembly in September 2020 and the House passed the bill for second reading in November 2020.

On Wednesday, Gbajabiamila said, “It is disappointing and frankly difficult to explain how successive governments have failed to deliver on the promise of reform despite this broad agreement.

“For a long time, we have known that this critical national industry underperforms its potential and our national expectations. For the most part, we all agree on the need for legislative action to make improvements through statutory and regulatory reform.”

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