Ita Enang, chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Solomon has doused fears that that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may not be passed by the Senate. “You will see it (PIB) in the notice paper when we publish it. A Bill sees the light of the day when it is listed on the floor of the Senate to be considered” he said adding,”So the contributions that are being made by Senators are intended to heighten interest in the Bill, enlighten the public more and we also thanks the media for their contributions.
“We will take all the contributions into account when considering the Bill for second reading in taking decisions on it.”
Enangf spoke to reporters in Abuja on the activities of the Senate from September to December 2012 and the priority areas in 2013.
Enang has also given assurance that the reports on Dana airline crash, fuel subsidy probe, Niger Delta Development Commission 2013 Appropriation Act, Public Procurement Act would , among others, be given priority in 2013.
Reporters also wanted to know whether the Executive submitted the budget for the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).Enang retorted: “I had mentioned earlier that the President submitted to all of us and to the National Assembly along with the national budget, the budget of the statutory corporations.
“And this is one of the things we will give priority to as we resume and the budget of SEC and others are contained in it.
“What we said in that clause of the Bill which we have forwarded is that there should not be any implementation except as would be approved. Just an emphasis.”
Last year, the House of Representatives failed to pass the 2013 budget of SEC on the heels of its resolution which called for the sack of the Director General of SEC, Ms Arumah Oteh.
While giving insight into the performance of the Senate between September to December,2012, Enang said a total of 163 new Bills were presented and considered amongst which are 25 Executive Bills while the rest are private member Bills.He added that 32 Bills were read for the second time and they have been referred to the relevant committees.
Enang recalled that Senate passed 15 resolutions while the five Bills passed include the 2013 Appropriation Bill, the National Automotive Council Act (repeal and re-enactment), the Money Laundering Act (amendment), Terrorism Act (amendment), and the Prison Act (repeal and re-enactment)He noted that the Red Chambers also confirmed 10 executive nominations.
Asked whether the President has assented to the five Bills that were passed by the Senate, Enang said: “No. What you have there are Executive Bills, not members’ Bills.
“There is another document containing Senators’ Bills. We had to draw a distinction.
“Most of them have been passed and when we pass them we forward them to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
“Remember that in the case of the nine universities we set up a conference committee, but our colleagues and brothers in the House of Representatives were yet to set up theirs but I believe they would have set it up and we are working on reconciling the differences in the Bills so they can be passed.
“Remember that some days ago the Federal Executive Council met and approved three new universities which Bills would soon be presented to the National Assembly.
“We would be working in such a manner as to perhaps avoid a situation where the three new universities come to join the ones already with us.
“So definitely they were passed by us but we are waiting for conference reports.” On the status of the ongoing Constitution amendment process he said: “It is expected that the Constitution review process having progressed from Senatorial Districts and states level hearings to the zonal public hearings, we will receive the reports, and analyze them and progress to findings and conclusions on sections for amendment for submission to the floor for consideration.
He concluded that ,”We bear in mind the timetable set by the Constitution Review Committee”