Uncertainty continues to shroud the report of the National Assembly’s conference committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), with the House of Representatives stepping down the report.
The situation is even more complicated with lawmakers set to go on their annual recess.
The report of the parliament’s conference was stepped down during Thursday’s plenary session after lawmakers emerged from an executive session that lasted over an hour.
Earlier, the House was thrown into a boisterous session before the commencement of plenary. At the centre of the confusion was the conference report of the PIB.
The report, which was on the Order paper, was stepped down upon resumption by the Chairman of the ad hoc committee on PIB, Mohammed Monguno.
The Host Communities Development Fund remains the most controversial issue. On July 1, while passing the PIB, the House of Representatives had pegged contributions to the host communities development trust fund at five per cent, and the Senate had pegged it’s at five per cent.
At the time, Mr Monguno had promised that the House of Representatives committee will insist on the five per cent as passed by the lower chamber. However, the conference committee adopted the Senate’s version of three per cent.
The Senate on Thursday also adopted the report of the conference committee despite protests from some South-south lawmakers.
While they had protested the percentage allotted to the host communities, Senate President Ahmad Lawan put the report to a voice vote and it passed despite strong “nays.”
By Abel Ejikeme