The Presidency on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill for several reasons, including some provisions being in divergence with present administration’s policy.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
He said reasons for the decline were that “the provision of the Bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory Commission to retain as much as 10 per cent of the revenue generated, unduly increases funds accruing to Petroleum Regulatory Commission”.
Enang added: “This is to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal Capital Territory and local governments in the country.
“Also, expanding the scope of Petroleum Equalisation Fund and some provisions in divergence to this administration’s policy and conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalisation fund is another reason.
“Furthermore, there are some legislative drafting concerns which, if assented to in the form presented, will create ambiguity and conflict in interpretation.”
Enang said that it had become necessary to set the records straight on Buhari’s non-assent to the Bill in view of alleged misleading reports in the media.
He said: “Buhari did communicate decline of assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, 2018 for constitutional and legal reasons.
“By convention, it is inappropriate to speak on the content of Executive communication addressed to the legislature until same has been read on the floor in plenary.
“But I plead for the understanding of the legislature that due to misrepresentations in public domain and apparent deliberate blackmail, which if not promptly addressed, may set the executive and the legislature against the public, this be excused.
“It may even extend to the international investment community.
“None of the reasons for withholding assent by the president adduced by the media is true.
“May this please, answer some of the issues raised until the communication is read on the floor.”