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Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2013

Northern, Southern Senators Clash over PIB Bill

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President Goodluck Jonathan

The Nigeria senate is sharply divided over the proposed petroleum industry bill (PIB), which the executive says is aimed at reforming the oil sector.
When the senate opened debate on the controversial bill on Tuesday, Northern Senators vehemently rejected the bill even as they accused governors and political leaders from the South-South
of siphoning billions of naira accrued to the region through 13% derivation funds and other deductions.

Leading debate on the bill, Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba said the “bill is one of the most important bills to be considered by this distinguished and hallowed chamber. “
Adding that “the bill was first introduced in the sixth Senate but legislative action on it could not be concluded.”
The Senators who supported the bill are —-Sen. Bassey Otu, Nkechi Nwaogu, Helen Esuene, Bukola Saraki while Sen. Ali Ndume, Isah Galandu, Ibrahim Gobir, Danladi Sankara, and Ahmed Lawan ooposed the bill.
In his contribution, Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe state argued that 13 percent derivation fund already in practice should be sustained while the proposed additional 10 percent oil producing community fund be expunged from the bill.
On his own part, Senator Heineken Olopori from Bayelsa state said there is a need to regulate the oil and gas for the economic benefits of Nigerians and address the lapses in the oil and gas.
Going by the importance of the bill, African examiner gathered that the executive and the South-South governors are aggressively pushing for the passage of the bill.
Recently, Gov. Uduaghan told our correspondent that the bill is for all Nigerians and not just for the south-south or the oil host community alone.
“It’s the interest of Nigeria that will scale through because the PIB is about Nigeria. Everybody will benefit from it. The north has something to benefit, the west has something to benefit, the east and the south-south too, and it is not just about the 10% to the oil producing community.” Uduaghan stated this in an interview with African Examiner recently in Washington, DC.
Source: African Examiner

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