The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Omotayo Alasoadura, has blamed the delayed passage of PIB, Petroleum Industry Bill, on the corruption of former senators as they received bribes from powerful Nigerians and some oil companies. According to the Senator, he was also offered millions of dollars bribe in order to kill the bill but he refused.
“They offered me money, but I said no, that the little money that God had provided for me is enough to cater for my wellbeing and that of my family…So the politics, lobby and so on from those who do not want the bill to see the light of the day was terrible.” he said.
However, unlike his honest self, Alasoadura claimed other senators of the 6th and 7th National Assembly took the dollar bribe as one of those giving the bribes said a former Chairman of the Committee got $10 million to scuttle the bill.
This gives more light into why the bill took so long before it was eventually passed by the National Assembly. The controversial bill seeks to split the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management (NPAM) and National Oil Company (NOC), thereby restructuring the framework of the country’s petroleum industry.
The bill has however faced severe delays as different parties sought to either restructure or kill the bill off as it posed a thereat to their personal interests as both the 6th and 7th National Assemblies delayed passage of PIB. The bill has, however been unbundled into several parts, with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which Alasoadura calls ‘ father of all of them all’ successfully passing through the National Assembly already. The other 3 parts will undergo further reading and it is hoped that this Senate will be able to pass them all.