President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has listed passage of both the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Policy Bill for the oil sector as part of the priorities for the 8th Senate when it resumes from annual recess.
Speaking on the issues the Senate would focus on in the next 22-months, Saraki said the upper chamber of the National Assembly would focus on developing Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit through appropriate legislation.
It would also look at more bills aimed at repositioning the nation’s economy to address the rising unemployment rate and strengthen the country’s democracy through legislative oversight on government establishments, according to a statement issued on Sunday by Special Adviser to President of the Senate on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
Saraki added that other issues the Senate would focus on included the need to entrench transparency in governance at all levels, creating universal health coverage law and strengthening the institution of the Senate by ensuring that people begin to understand the role of parliament in the governing of the nation.
He said, “From Day One, this Senate had its own legislative agenda. You will see that some of the things we have been doing are working our way through this agenda in order to cross items off our list and deliver on our promised change. This has allowed us to treat more petitions than any other parliament in our nation’s history, and pass more bills at the mid-term mark.
“This is why, as we return in September, we will be finalising on our infrastructure and social intervention pieces of legislation. These are laws that will make it easier for small and medium enterprises across the nation to do business. We will make laws that will create ample opportunities for all Nigerians to realise their potential.
“Additionally, the Host Community component of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which looks at the ecological debt incurred against communities where petroleum exploration happens, and the community participation and security of these communities, will also be on the front burner of our affairs. This is something Nigerians can watch out for.
“Similarly, the Industry Administration component of the PIB, which seeks to open up the industry for investment and growth as well as create the much-needed expansion of the industry by allowing new entrants into the operations of the industry, is now at the committee stage at the Senate. We will work to quickly pass the bill.”