The senator representing Bayelsa Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, Seriake Dickson has called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.
According to Dickson, the two bills did not consider the people adding that it should be sent back for more legislative work and consultation.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday at the National Assembly, the former Bayelsa State governor, said he left the chamber when the PIB was being considered to avoid his name appended to a document that did not consider the interest of the host communities.
The National Assembly passed the PIB providing for 3 per cent yearly operational cost of oil companies to be paid in a dedicated account – Host Communities Development Trust Fund- which will be used for the development of the communities and also protect the pipelines.
But Dickson said President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who initiated the bill proposed 10 per cent adding that with three per cent, the desired peace in the region might not be achieved.
“As you know, I disagree completely with the three per cent. The House passed five per cent. This country is not helping itself and not helping the investors. If the host communities are not happy, will the investors come?
“You are not dealing with one community; you are dealing with hundreds of communities. No one is engaging the communities, no one is explaining to the people. People who think they have majority votes have imposed three percent on the communities. Let’s not talk about signing the bill. It should be sent back for more consultation,” Dickson said while calling on President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign the bills.
On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Dickson who called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign it, said the bill is trying to undermine the powers and independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
According to Dickson, in the draft copy, they allowed INEC to transmit election results electronically adding, “We could not push it through and now you can see the attack on the Senate on this issue.”