The Senate has passed the harmonised version of the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The harmonised version of the PIB was passed at plenary of the upper chamber on Thursday after consideration of the report of the conference committee on the PIB, despite protests by senators from the South-South region.
Prior to the approval of the proposed legislation, senators from the South-South geopolitical zone protested against the proposed three per cent equity share for the oil host communities.
Senator Seriake Dickson, the lawmaker representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, who expressed the opposition of the South-South senators, stated that the input of the lawmakers from the region was neglected.
He threatened that he and his colleagues would stage a walkout from plenary if their concerns, especially that of the allocation to oil host communities, are not addressed.
Senator Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, however, urged Dickson and other aggrieved senators not to walk out of plenary.
According to the Senate President, the matter cannot be revisited because the bill had been passed.
Meanwhile, drama played out at the House of Representatives during the consideration of the conference committee report on the PIB as Chinyere Igwe, a lawmaker from Rivers State, opposed the recently approved piece of legislation.
The house had barely commenced sitting for the day when Igwe walked around the floor chanting “the PIB report is a fraud”.
The action caused a stir and subsequently led to a shouting match in the House as lawmakers heatedly debated the bill.
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House, offered a prayer after which he hit the gavel to maintain order but the fierce protest continued.
Gbajabiamila subsequently ruled that the house enter a closed session, forcing members of the media to leave the chamber.