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Confusion as Presidency claims NASS yet to transmit passed PIGB to Buhari

Contrary to earlier belief that the National Assembly who passed the harmonized Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) on March 28 had sent same to the President Muhammadu Buhari for assent, the Presidency on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to receive a copy of the passed Bill.

Before now, there had been several media reports alluding to the fact that the presidency is deliberately the assent which translates to drawback on the oil and gas industry, but the clarification from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, that the document is yet to arrive the presidency has rested the permutations and further puts NASS in a tight corner to defend why for more than one month, it has not transmitted the critical document.

In a two-paragraph statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Senator Enag averred that “Buhari has yet to receive the bill”.

Dated May 16, the terse statement was titled “Re: Petroleum Industry Governance Bill.”

According to the statement, Senator Enang noted that his investigation revealed that the bill was still “undergoing standard legislative processes of the National Assembly,” preparatory to transmission.

The statement read, “Further to several enquiries by the media, interest groups, and the public in respect of within named bill, may I please state that the said bill has not yet been transmitted by the National Assembly to the President.

“From my enquiries, the bill is still undergoing standard operating legislative processes of the National Assembly preparatory to transmission, please.”

Whereas the chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Omotayo Alasoadura, had earlier been quoted as saying that the harmonised bill would be presented to Buhari on March 30, the worry now is why it took the presidency more than one month to open up on the real status of the Bill.