Disagreement over host community clause stalling PIB, says Senate

Members of the Nigerian Senate PHOTO: TWITTER/ NIGERIAN SENATE

Members of the Nigerian Senate PHOTO: TWITTER/ NIGERIAN SENATE

Enemies of government pushing for fuel price hike

The Senate has blamed lack of agreement over the host community clause for non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The upper chamber also condemned calls for hike in the price of petrol describing such calls as being sponsored by enemies of government.

In an interview with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, Senate’s Spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, (APC, Niger North) said however that on resumption from recess, Senators would take on the management framework, stressing that the sensitivity of the host community relationship stalled the process while experts have been urging that the bill be revisited.

His words: “ The Senate is already primed because most experts have submitted that we need to do something about the PIB.

We wanted to take the management framework but because of the sensitivity of the host community relationship and benefit-sharing issue, that issue met some brick wall even before it went ahead, we thought it wise to step it down.

“But I’m convinced beyond reasonable doubt that by the time we come back from recess that issue will still get a front burner attention because it’s key to whatever changes we want to see done, going forward on a sustainable basis in the oil and gas industry.”

He faulted calls for increase in price of petrol by former Group Managing Directors (GMDs) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), alleging they are responsible for the nation’s present woes.

The senator who described the suggestion for fuel price hike as a slap on the faces of Nigerians, noted that the former NNPC bosses ought to have been discreet , insisting that no matter how good their intention was, the leakages they created while in office were responsible for where the country is today.

Expressing regrets over the development, the Senate spokesman said: ‘The NNPC as an institution was expectedly the life wire of this nation. As we have all known, refineries in Nigeria have not been functional because that institution had not been up and doing like its peers in other countries that have similar resource endowment as us. For crying out loud all of these former GMDs can they be said to be free of blame on how we got here. Can they?”

He argued that refineries in the country stopped working while the GMDs were in office, adding that the corporation itself has not been run transparently and the maximum benefit of the Nigerian citizens not taken into consideration.

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