The Nigerian Senate has postponed till the first quarter next year passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) stating that it has too much on its plate at the moment.
The lawmakers said the focus now is on the quick passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill which was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum, Upstream, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura (APC-Ondo Central) said events have overtaken the Bill and it is no longer a priority. Therefore, it has to wait till next year to be taken up again.
He said this on Wednesday at the ongoing 7th Practical Nigerian Content Forum, even as he acknowledged the significance of the passage of the Bill to the oil sector.
He said, “The PIB will be passed in the first quarter of next year and this is because of the budget that was presented to the National Assembly by the President on Tuesday. He (Buhari) asked us to do all we can in order to pass the budget before the end of this year.
"So, there is much work to be done by the National Assembly on the budget and as a result of this, we won’t or may not have all the time to go through all that is needed for the passage of the PIB before the end of this year.
"The Senate president wants it to be done before the end of this year, but I have to be practical. For with the budget in place, I think we need to concentrate on its passage so that its implementation can also take effect in good time.”This is not the first delay the PIB has suffered, a point Senator Alasoadura agreed to be true.