Senator Ita Enang, Presidential Liason to the National Assembly-Senate, has cleared the air on reports alluding to the reasons President Muhammadu Buhari withheld assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).
According to Enang, “none of the reasons for withholding Aassent by Mr. President adduced by the media is true”.
Instead, Enang explained that the PIGB "unduly increases the funds accruing to the Petroleum Regulatory commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal Capital Territory, and Local Governments in the country".
Noting that it is not appropriate to “speak on the content of executive communication addressed to the Legislature until same has been read on the floor in plenary”, he pleaded “for the understanding of the legislature that due to the misrepresentations in the public domain and apparent deliberate blackmail, which if not promptly addressed, may set both the executive and the legislature against the public and even the international investment community, this be excused”.
A statement by Enang on Wednesday read in part: “In deference to the National Assembly I please state very limited of the rationale communicated to the legislature, to wit:
“a) That the provision of the Bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory Commission to retain as much as 10% of the revenue generated unduly increases the funds accruing to the Petroleum Regulatory commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal Capital Territory, and Local Governments in the country.
“b) Expanding the scope of Petroleum equalization fund and some provisions in divergence from this administration’s policy and indeed conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalization fund.
“c) Some legislative drafting concerns which, if Assented to in the form presented will create ambiguity and conflict in interpretation.”
He called for understanding, pending when the communication would be read on the floor of the Senate.