20 July 2012

Nigeria: Blame Jonathan for PIB Delay - Reps

Photo: Vanguard
Oil refinery

With federal lawmakers from both chambers of the National Assembly proceeding on their scheduled annual recess, the House of Representatives yesterday described as "curious" President Goodluck Jonathan's decision to forward the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on a day lawmakers proceeded on their two-month long break.

Also, the lawmakers expressed worry that seven months into the 2012 fiscal year, the federal government's implementation of the budget as reported by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) has been dismal.

Coming under privilege, the Lower House Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabimiala (Lagos/ACN) at Thursday's plenary lobbied federal lawmakers to return the contentious PIB to the president for fresh submission when the Lower House resumes from its recess.

The Lower House Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, in his submission insisted that Jonathan was duly briefed by both chambers of the National Assembly of the annual recess undertaken by federal lawmakers; hence any delay in the treatment of the PIB was solely the fault of the Presidency.

According to the Speaker, in view of claims and counter claims of fake copies of the PIB in circulation, both chambers of the National Assembly told the president to furnish them with 500 and 200 copies of the PIB respectively for the House of Representatives and Senate. "My office received only three copies of the PIB," Tambuwal disclosed.

Similarly, President Jonathan has forwarded the sum of N250 bn NDDC budget to the Senate for consideration as budget proposal for 2012.

The President in a letter on the NDDC budget read by Senate President, David Mark, said: "The commission has submitted a budget proposal of N250, 857,930,000 only for 2012.It is noted that the budget aims at consolidating the on-going efforts to effectively impact on the region."

Briefing newsmen after plenary yesterday, Senator Ita Enang, who also commented on the NDDC budget was worried that it was coming very late to the Senate.

"We have just received NDDC budget today, 19th July and this is the budget for 2012 coming on the last day of sitting. We will take the bill when we return in September.

He added that both bills would be addressed when the senators returned from vacation.

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