PIB: Lawmakers Move Against Petroleum Minister’s Powers
As the debate on the Petroleum industry bill is about to enter full throttle, one major area of concern for lawmakers is the immense powers the legislation provides the Minister of petroleum.
According to experts on the bill, the legislation provides more powers to the minister of petroleum than the president. This is unacceptable to a majority of lawmakers and it is expected that they will ammend the PIB before passage.
Some contentious areas of the bill include Section 5 of the bill which states, “The Minister of Petroleum Resources shall be responsible for the co-ordination of the activities of the petroleum industry and shall exercise general supervision over all operations and all institutions in the industry.”
A group of Northern lawmakers stand accused of planning to stop the bill in its tracks owing to what they consider as the marginalization of the north in its current format.
However, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed said the House considered the bill very important to the Nigerian economy.
He said, “It is not true that any group [of lawmakers] has resolved to kill this bill; we have all agreed that this is an important bill that has to be passed.
“However, we won’t pass it the way it came.
“We will discuss it dispassionately and pass it, bearing in mind the fact that this bill is very important to Nigerians.”