Ita Enang, senior special adviser to the president on national assembly matters, says the national assembly has not transmitted the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB) to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Enang said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.
“Further to several inquiries by the media, interest groups and the public in respect of the within named bill (PIGB), may I please state that the said bill has not yet been transmitted by the national assembly to the president,” the statement read.
“From my enquiries, the bill is still undergoing standard operating legislative processes of the national assembly preparatory to transmission.”
There have been controversies over the status of the bill.
On March 16, Tayo Alasoadura, chairman, senate committee on petroleum resources (upstream), said the PIGB would presented for presidential assent on March 30.
But nothing was heard about the assent until Senate President Bukola Saraki tweeted one month later that it had been transmitted to the president.
“After 18 years, President Muhammadu Buhari, has finally received the harmonised copy of the #PIGB from the 8th national assembly,” he wrote on Twitter.
UPDATE: Another #PromiseKept by the 8th National Assembly and Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
— The Senate President (@SPNigeria) April 28, 2018
The controversy over PIGB is not new.
Years after the original bill, called petroleum industry bill (PIB), was sent to the national assembly in September 2008, lawmakers said there were different versions in circulation.
The senate passed its own in May 2017 while the house of representatives passed its eight months later.
The president has to give assent to the bill before it becomes law.
Under the PIGB as passed by the senate, NNPC will be divided into three main companies: the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission, which will regulate the sector; the National Petroleum Company (NPC) and the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company (NPAMC).
The NPAMC will take control of NNPC’s upstream assets while NPC will be in charge of crude oil marketing and refining.
PIGB is one of the four segments that the PIB was split into to speed up the passage of the omnibus bill into law.
PIB has been in the works since the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who handed over power in 2007.