4 October 2011
While inaugurating the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senate President David Mark said the existence of different versions of the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has been the major hitch to its passage by the two arms of the National Assembly.
This is not cheering news. The bill, which has generated a lot of interest among Nigerians, did not go beyond the first stage of clause-by-clause consideration in the two chambers before the Sixth Assembly wound up in June.
It is therefore surprising to hear Mark say, "The problem with the PIB was that when it showed up, there were so many versions...as many as three or four versions were in the hands of senators and members of the House of Representatives" when Mark is the chief custodian of what should be the authentic version of the bill, as chairman of the National Assembly. His remarks are a sad reminder of allegations that some fifth columnists are bent on frustrating the passage of this all-important bill.