Political Interest Stalling PIB – Ihedioha

Political Interest Stalling PIB
– Ihedioha

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Acting Speaker, House of Representatives,
Hon Emeka Ihedioha yesterday decried
how contributions of House members to
the ongoing consideration of the
Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) have been
characterised by political interest instead
of technical inputs.
At the resumed consideration on the bill
yesterday, Ihedioha again deferred the
PIB’s consideration owing to
disagreements by lawmakers at the
plenary. The House had earlier adjourned
consideration on May 20 due to
consistent controversies and
disagreements on some clauses by the
members.
When the consideration resumed
yesterday, lawmakers could not agree on
a clause seeking to tax oil companies to
finance proposed Frontier Exploration
agencies.
Specifically, the PIB clause under
consideration seeks oil companies
operating in country to pay 50 cents for
every barrel of crude oil explore to
support frontier oil exploration. But
lawmakers were unable to agree to price
while others demanded the scrapping of
the proposed tax.
The proposed tax was strongly opposed
by northern lawmakers, with Hon. Kaka
Kyari Gujbawu (Borno/PDP) saying that
the amount should be increased to $2
instead of the proposed 50 cents.
Lawmakers from the South South
however, said the proposed tax regime
should not be fixed but be determined
periodically. Hon. Asita Honourable
(Rivers/APC) said pegging the proposed
tax would hamper future opportunities of
profit increase for the country.
Ihedioha, however, said the House “need
technical solutions rather than political
solutions. What I understand is that there
is a lot of political interest than technical.
“As presiding officer, I want us to step
down further consideration of this report. I
don’t want a political consideration. We
rather take our time and come up with a
report that would be acceptable to all
Nigerians.”
Ihedioha directed the PIB ad hoc
committee chairman, Hon. Ishaka Bawa
to go back and consult widely with
experts.
The attempt to exonerate Allison-
Madueke by an Ad hoc Committee of the
House was sequel to investigation into
alleged shady deals involving the former
minister and other corporate entities
namely the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Petroleum
Development Company (NPDC), Shell
Petroleum Development Company (SPDC),
Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, and
Septa Energy Ltd, in respect to the farm-
out or allocation of OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34,
38, 41 and 42.
The report of the investigation was
submitted and laid before the House since
February 13, 2015, by the chairman of the
Ad hoc Committe, Hon Ajibola Muraina.
But a motion for the consideration of the
said report moved by Muraina at plenary
yesterday was rejected apparently due to
a recommendation of the committee
which sought a clean bill of health to all
those involved in the allocation of the
OMLs.

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