The House of Representatives has stated that the recent request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the alteration to certain sections of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), will be thoroughly scrutinised, as it will not be taken line, hook and sinker.
This hint came Thursday through the spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, commending the President, however, for taking the democratic approach to requesting for the amendment.
“There is no piece of legislation that is perfect anywhere, and so the the case of the PIA cannot be different. The House celebrate the President for not behaving like a military general. This has shown that the president is a democrat, the lawmaker stated.
He said the President had acted in the spirit of section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, to ensure equity and fairness by requesting that instead of only two executive directors for the national oil company expected to be incorporated, each of the six geopolitical zones should be represented.
He said the house would, however, debate on the required qualifications for those to be appointed, which will be devoid of political considerations, “so that they will be the right eyes and the right ears for their people”, adding that “we will not give it hook, line and sinker without such considerations”.
Fielding questions on the possible failure of the President meeting the September target of laying the 2021 budget before the National Assembly as announced by the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF), Kalu assured that even at that the parliament will ensure that the January-December budget cycle is sustained. “We’re confident that he will not delay. If he comes like in the first week of October, it will not be late”, he submitted.
On the Medium Term Expenditure Framework which the House was yet to pass, Kalu also said the document will out at good time, as the had contemplated debating on the report on Tuesday, but for the absence of Chairman of the Committee on Finance. “We’re assuring Nigerians of the tidying up, me that will not affect the budget”, he submitted.