Senate Passes Petroleum Industry, Police Reforms Bills

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Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate

After 17 years, the Senate during plenary on Wednesday reworked and passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Electoral Act amendment Bill 2019, and five other bills rejected by President Buhari.

The Senate passed these bills after its technical committee worked on President Buhari’s observations and re-drafted the affected clauses.

The PIGB seeks to make the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) the sole regulator overseeing the licensing, monitoring and supervising of petroleum operations.

It also gives the NPRC the powers to enforce industry laws, regulations, and standards.

On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, President Buhari had explained that he declined assent because assenting to new legislation so close to the 2019 general elections would cause confusion.

Other bills the lawmakers passed along the PIGB are the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism bill 2019, National Research and Innovation Council bill 2019, Stamp Duties act (amendment) bill 2019 and National Agricultural Seed Council bill 2019.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate during plenary on Wednesday also passed the Police Reform Bill, 2019 (SB. 683).

This followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.

The report was presented by Senator Tijjanj Kaura, while, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa seconded that the Senate considers the report of the Committee.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa said the parliament had to look at what the Bill stands for and address issues such as “welfare and the environment” in which police operatives work.

“Do they have enough for logistics? Do they have running funds to take care of fuel or even stationaries? We need to focus on the Police Trust Fund as an Intervention,” Ashafa asked.

Senate President Bukola Saraki had earlier described the bill as a very important one.

Saraki said that the bill will address how the police will be reformed.

“Since the formulation in 1943, the original Bill has not undergone a review. We still know where we should go ideally but until we get there, let us address how we should reform the police,” Saraki said.

After the Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the bill, it was read a third time and passed.

In reaction to the passage of the bill, thanked the committee and the Deputy Leader of the Senate for their contributions to the passage of the bill.