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PIA: Lawan Hints On Amendment Of New Law

ABUJA–PRESIDENT of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan yesterday said if there are identified areas in the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, that require amendment, they should be brought to the National Assembly for legislative action.

The President of the Senate also said that no human beings could be perfect and that most difficult issues can still be brought back to the National Assembly.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday signed the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law.

Lawan stated this while fielding questions from journalists shortly after a brief ceremony at the Presidential Villa where the President announced the setting up of an implementation Committee for the new law.

He said it is when implementation starts, that’s when people will start to see where and where amendment is needed.

According to him, “So this is something we all have to address with some optimism and hope that it would be okay. But because we are human beings, no act of human beings could be perfect. So when we are able to see issues, the National Assembly is there. Bring them for amendment. Even the most difficult issues can still be brought back to the National Assembly. If it is worthwhile to do so. But I believe that there is no need for us to be emphasising the problems rather than the prospects.”

Responding to questions on the agitation for more funds for the host communities, Lawan said the host communities are winners as well, though It may not be necessarily exactly what some of them had hoped, with time, such issues will be further addressed.

He said, “But you know from zero to over 500 million dollars and with time, such issues will be further addressed but I want to also caution that it is not the 500 million dollars that is more but how we are able to prudently and transparently deploy this 500 million dollar in the host communities. This time around, there should be no excuses for anybody to tamper with this money. The host communities have suffered enough, even when NDDC was established, I’m sure it was established because of the host communities’ issues and yet the host communities did not get much attention.

“This time, the host communities have been specifically mentioned and these funds should go there. We want to see people who will be appointed, taking this as trust and do what is right. Of course, there will be so much employment and jobs especially in the midstream of the value chain. This midstream has not been in existence so to speak. What we have is the upstream and then, the downstream. When our refineries will be better and more will be established, I’m sure the value chain will have opportunity for more Nigerians to have jobs and so on. I believe that this is one very historic and important moment for us as a National Assembly, this Ninth National Assembly and of course a very historic moment for this administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

“This is something that previous administrations tried and as hard as they tried, they could not do it. This is one Bill that saw the faces of so many people between the executive and the legislature in the past and yet it could not be passed. The ninth National Assembly by the Grace of God had done the magic and the President had signed it and today we have a Petroleum Industry Act. Glory be to God.”

Source:- Vanguard

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