Senate president Bukola Saraki

Senate president Bukola Saraki says the senate and the house of representatives will begin the debate of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) next week.

Saraki made this revelation in Abuja on Monday, while speaking at a business environment roundtable on the economy, adding that both legislative chambers were working on the bill.

“We are both committed. We have both come out with our agenda and as part of this commitment, you will all see next week, when we lay the petroleum industry governance bill,” Saraki said.

“You will see that the bill we are going to lay in the house is the same bill we are going to lay in the senate because for the first time, we are committed to work together as one to achieve results.

“The national assembly has in tandem made these the vision, the anchor-point of its legislative agenda but we know that being a mere agenda is not enough, that no mantra or talk can make this happen without commensurate purposeful action.”

He said the laws guiding the viability of businesses in Nigeria are obsolete, and due for a review to ease doing business in within the country.

“We have gone this route because we believe that if we deliberately involve and continuously engage our people in lawmaking, the edicts and policies we make will be greatly enriched and accepted having been a product of collective consensus,” he said.

Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, backed Saraki, saying investors must be encouraged to move the economy from a “standstill”.

On his part, Tony Elumelu, president of Heirs Group and Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), urged Saraki, Dogara and other lawmakers to review the land use act and pass a new law in that regard.

“What we do in Nigeria will set example for other African countries and the national assembly will help a great deal by moving away from talking to passing the legislation that would help to move the nation’s economy forward,” he said.

Paul Idornigie, a business expert, said for the eighth national assembly to be judged as successful, it must pass 15 identified critical bills to enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

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