Senate President Bukola Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has said that the National Assembly will continue to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

Buhari had rejected assent to the PIGB, following its passage by the federal lawmakers, citing constitutional and legal reasons in the bill.

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Saraki, at a dinner organised as part of activities at the ongoing 24th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, said the resolve by the legislature to mount pressure to ensure the bill gets presidential assent has become necessary, given its importance to the development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

The Senate president said that it was unfortunate that the bill had not been assented to, adding “we took it as a responsibility to drive that bill to a level it has never been in a decade’’.

“That bill, a lot of people when we started said we cannot do it, but we demonstrated we have the political will and the commitment to do it.

“We passed the governance bill and it went to the executive.

“What I expected considering the kind of work that was done was for us both arms to sit down because the issues that were raised are not issues that are not surmountable.

“Unfortunately, after so many months, the bill has come back with a query, that can easily be trashed out in a day session.

“Those in the petroleum sector will agree with me that they have never seen the engagement we saw in the governance bill.

“Secondly, we had the fiscal bill and we have taken it to the point that has never been archived, but I believe a lot of the operators will want to ask what will happen to the fiscal bill if the governance bill was not assented to.

“Our intention is to go back to the executive and sit down with them in the interest of Nigeria.

“This is a very good bill as most operators and the technical people in the sector commended it.’’

He said the observation made was not enough reason to stop its assent because of the huge positive impact it would make on investments in the sector.