Those PIB demons
Of all the things I have heard about the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) the most intriguing came from the 62nd birthday celebrations of the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan. In between the happy birthday wining and dining, Lawan turned his attention to the seemingly interminable journey of the PIB through the legislative process since 2008, and blamed it on the machinations of demons. “PIB is like a demon,” the celebrant declared. “People both within and outside the country are ready to work against it as they have been doing for the past fourteen years but the 9th Senate and by extension, 9th National Assembly, will defeat the demon with the current bill before both Chambers.”
Dr. Lawan (he holds a PhD in Remote Sensing/GIS) should know what he is talking about. The man started his legislative career in 1999 in the House of Representatives, from where he has been a Senator representing Yobe North Constituency since 2007. He was elected Senate President of the 9th National Assembly on June 11, 2019. Indeed, we should pay attention when this distinguished senator speaks. We don’t know the source of his conclusion on the role of demons on the fate of the PIB. This executive bill is perhaps the most famous piece of legislation in the history of modern Nigeria because it deals with a resource that is the backbone of our economy. Without oil, Nigeria will be in trouble.
The government says that, without PIB, the oil and gas industry, as we know it will not fulfill the aspirations of the people. The PIB was first introduced in 2008, reviewed many times, re-introduced in 2012, and re-introduced yet again by the Buhari administration on September 28, 2020. To bring it home, the PIB has been in the legislative works for 12 years, the time it would have taken for your newborn baby to be in senior secondary school! So, was Dr. Lawan trying to make sense of the long stretch or was he speaking from spiritual insight? I will find out if I ever meet him.
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