Monday, 28 March 2011

Nigeria: The government keen to pass the PIB before June

The House and Senate have now adjourned until 19th April when they will have one more day in session before departing for the Easter break and only retuning on Thursday 28th April.

The government will therefore redouble its efforts to get the controversial Petroleum Industries Bill (PIB) passed in the last two weeks of May before the official handover of power on 29th May – assuming that there is a clear victor in the first round of voting in the presidential election.

There is, however, considerable doubt as to whether the government will be successful and a lot that could happen in the intervening period. The Bill was put down on the House order paper last week but was not raised in time and there was no call of a vote before the House moved quickly to adjourn.

The House speaker, Dimeji Bankole who was implicated in the recent Wikileaks embarrassment - is reticent and reclusive and is unwilling to preside over major legislation at the moment. There is a realisation that that there will probably have to be amendments on the floor of thee House and consequently the PIB can not be rushed. If the government tries to get the PIB though in May it will find a resistant Senate and a post-election House. While harmonisation between the various versions of the bill may be possible this would only be the case if the Senate backs down.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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