Reps step down conference report on PIB after row

The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja stepped down the report of the National Assembly conference committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The report was earlier scheduled for presentation, but was stepped down over row over the percentage of royalty due to host communities, from oil companies.

Rep. Mohammed Monguno, the Chairman, Committee on PIB, was billed to present the report before it was stepped down.

The report was on the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to provide legal governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and the Development of Host Communities.

Following the row, the House hurriedly dissolved into an executive session to iron out some grey areas on the PIB that was deemed unacceptable to some lawmakers.

Some of the lawmakers, mainly from the oil producing states, had earlier gotten wind of the conference report that recommended three per cent for the host communities.

The lawmakers therefore engaged in a shouting match before commencement of plenary to consider the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and the conference report on PIB Bill.

Rep. Chinyere Igwe (PDP-Rivers), Rep. Boma Goodhead (PDP-Rivers) and Bede Eke (PDP-Imo) were seen visibly angry and shouting that they were not going to accept the three per cent for host communities.

The trio and other lawmakers insisted that it must be five per cent or nothing.

The House had earlier agreed on five per cent while the Senate agreed on three per cent, but the conference committee report via harmonisation settled for the three per cent.

This, however, did not go down well with the lawmakers, which resulted in shouting match and eventually snowballed into a rowdy session.

Ssequel to the row, the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, and other principal officers walked into the chamber without the usual announcement.

Gbajabiamila immediately dissolved the House into an executive session. – The News.

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