BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill and the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution will be ready for passage in 2021.
Senate president, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who disclosed this yesterday, also revealed that the National Assembly was working hard to ensure the passage of the 2021 Appropriation Bill in the next three weeks.
Lawan made the disclosures at a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
He said, “We are working to pass the 2021 budget by the second week of December by the Grace of God.
“We are working very assiduously; we will ensure that there is every possible scrutiny of the budget estimates presented to us by the Executive arm of government.
“So far, we achieved that in the 2020 budget. We believe we did the right thing. We promised Nigerians that we will do that and it is going to be part of our legacy in the Ninth National Assembly”.
“The PIB which is one of the most essential legislations that we have to have in this country, we intend to pass it by the Grace of God before the end of the second quarter of next year.
“We will take our time because this is a very delicate and sensitive piece of legislation. We will take our time to ensure that what comes out of the National Assembly in the PIB is a product of legislation that will ensure that Nigeria earns it’s revenues from this industry as it should and of course also support our business people, the oil companies that are investing and in fact retain and encourage new ones to come to Nigeria to invest.
“So it has to be a win-win for all of us. We will not be selfish as a country, trying to take everything. No! Oil is like water now. Almost every country now has oil. So if you don’t provide a competitive environment in Nigeria, oil companies will have no difficulty relocating to other countries. So we will ensure that we have a competitive environment for business and for investment”.
Lawan however acknowledged that the constitution amendment was not very warm at the moment because of the activities of members of the National Assembly on the 2021 budget.
He assured that the two committees in the Senate and the House were already working behind the scene to ensure that as soon as the budget is passed, activities on the constitution amendment will commence immediately.
“We believe that we should pass our amendments within 2021. Similarly the amendment to the Electoral Act is going to be within that year 2021 to ensure that we don’t encounter unnecessary distractions,” Lawan added