Senate gets final report on PIB April 25

The Senate during a plenary

Welcomes Buhari’s peace initiative on executive, legislative face-off

The Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum (upstream, downstream and gas), said yesterday that it would on April 25 lay the final report of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) before the Senate for consideration and approval.

The new date is three months behind the January 2017 deadline the committee was given to submit its final report.According to the schedule of the committee regarding the final stages of the committee’s work on the bill, members of the committee will on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, hold their final joint meeting at a one-day retreat in Abuja.

During the session, the committee members, among others, would receive further input, deliberate on their findings and recommendations, and conclude their report for submission to the Senate.

A statement issued on behalf of the joint committee by the Senate President’s Chief Press Secretary, Sani Onnogu, pointed out that members of the committee are expected to submit the final printed copy of the report to the Senate on April 6, 2017, while the main report is expected to be laid before the Senate on April 25, 2017 for final consideration and approval.

Meanwhile, the Senate has said that the peace initiative by President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the brewing feud between the executive and legislative arms of government was a desirable development.

Spokesman of the Senate, Aliu Saabi Abdullahi, declared that the Senate would co-operate with the committee set up by the president to do so.He also explained that Senate’s actions were always motivated by the need to entrench democracy and promote good governance.

This development is in tandem with members of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), who had expressed concern over the disharmony among the appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari and the altercation among the leaders of the National Assembly.

They said the situation might threaten national cohesion and growth of democracy in the country.They said their representative from Southern Borno Senatorial District was suspended for telling the truth on allegations against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Dino Melaye.

“The suspension of our Senator, Ali Ndume for six months by the leadership of the Senate; was not only faulty but undemocratic.”Also, the Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), has given the Senate 48 hours to rescind the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume, or face legal action.

CASER Executive Director, Frank Tietie, in a statement made available to The Guardian, said the Nigerian Senate is in clear violation of the provisions of Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which guarantees the right to hold an opinion and to express same.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the leadership of the Senate to immediately withdraw its summon to the Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, to appear before its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

SERAP in a statement yesterday by its executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, described the senate’s summon for Sagay, whom it said simply exercised his right to freedom of expression, as arbitrary, a travesty, mala-fide, and cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.

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