Senate President, David Mark, has asked the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to take steps to conclude work on the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the probe of Malabu Oil.
Mark’s directive followed a Point of Order raised by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North) on the undue delay in passing the PIB and investigation into activities surrounding the sale of Malabu Oil.
The Senate committed the PIB to its committee on Petroleum (Upstream) on March 7, 2013 for further legislative work while the probe of Malabu Oil was assigned to the same committee in July 2013.
Adetunmbi in his Point of Order told the Senate that he was at a function where the issue of the PIB and Malabu Oil were raised.
He said that he was asked why the Senate had not done work on the PIB and investigation into Malabu Oil.
He noted that participants at the function insisted that the massive corruption going in the country’s oil and gas sector was as a result of none passage of the PIB.
The lawmaker said the participants at the forum believed that the passage of the PIB will go a long way in curbing corrupt practices going on in the sector.
Adetunmbi added, “On coming back from the conference I had to check my records and I found out that the Petroleum Industry Bill after debate was committed to the appropriate committee on Thursday March 7, 2013.
“It will be one year next month. As it stands nothing seems to be going on about the bill.
“The Malabu oil probe was committed to relevant committee in July 2013 about seven months ago.
“It may interest this Senate that an international extractive agency advocacy group did a letter on July 6, 2013 to the Italian and Netherlands government requesting for public investigation of the role of companies from both countries as part of public accountability in the two countries.
“The same letter was written to the European Union (EU).
“The Italian, the Netherlands and EU parliament is about concluding public investigation and the outcome of the investigation will be made public very soon.
“I think as Senators, it is a privilege that we should know what is going on so that the reputation of this parliament is not called to question.
“This is because I fear a situation where if the report of European parliaments is reporting issues that affect our economy and our own parliament, the apex parliament in Nigeria is seen not to do what it is supposed to do one year after I believe it will affect all of us collectively.”