The Senate has cautioned Ibe Kachikwu, minister of State for Petroleum Resources, to stop making false claims in the on-going process of passing into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, spokesman of the Senate said in a statement that the PIB which has got to the final stage and is scheduled to be passed before the second anniversary of the Eighth Senate is a private member bill and did not emanate from the executive. Hear Abdullahi: “It is funny to read a report that the Minister went to far away Houston to say that there was a disagreement between the Senate and House of Representatives over the PIB, which has delayed its passage and that he has been speaking with the House to take the version of the bill being worked on by the Senate. The statement was unfortunate because the Minister was only demonstrating a lack of knowledge of how a bicameral legislature functions.”
He regretted that Kachikwu did not consider the bill critical enough to be given priority when he combined his office with that of the managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. He argued further, ” it is not unusual for there to be differences in the contents of a bill on the same issue being worked on by the two chambers of the National Assembly. There is already an inbuilt legislative process for reconciling the two versions of a bill through what is called harmonization process by the Conference Committee of both chambers. So, there is no need for a minister to dabble into the process.”
Abdullahi said that Kachikwu merely wanted to preempt the national assembly, knowing full well that the bill is about to be passed into law.