Presidency Explains Why Buhari Declined Assent To Petroleum Industry Bill

The Presidency on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari declined

assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill for several reasons,

including some provisions being in divergence with present

administration’s policy.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly

Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, made this known in a statement in

Abuja.

He said reasons for the decline were that “the provision of the Bill

Permitting the Petroleum Regulatory Commission to retain as much as 10

per cent of the revenue generated, unduly increases funds accruing to

Petroleum Regulatory Commission.

“This is to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal,

States, Federal Capital Territory and local governments in the

country.

“Also, expanding the scope of Petroleum Equalisation Fund and some

provisions in divergence to this administration’s policy and

conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalisation fund is

another reason.

“Furthermore, there are some legislative drafting concerns which, if

assented to in the form presented, will create ambiguity and conflict

in interpretation.’’

Enang said that it had become necessary to set the records straight on

Buhari’s non-assent to the Bill in view of alleged misleading reports

in the media.

He said “Buhari did communicate decline of assent to the Petroleum

Industry Governance Bill, 2018 for constitutional and legal reasons.

“By convention, it is inappropriate to speak on the content of

Executive communication addressed to the legislature until same has

been read on the floor in plenary.

“But I plead for the understanding of the legislature that due to

misrepresentations in public domain and apparent deliberate blackmail,

which if not promptly addressed, may set the executive and the

legislature against the public, this be excused.

“It may even extend to the international investment community.

“None of the reasons for withholding assent by the president adduced

by the media is true.

“May this please, answer some of the issues raised until the

communication is read on the floor.’’