A fight broke out at the House of Representatives venue of the public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on Thursday, causing Lawmakers and other participants to scamper for safety, extractive360 gathered.
Involved in the fight were representatives of oil host communities who had come to make presentations on the bill. Sources at the venue told extractive360 that the fight began around noon when Chairman of the committee on PIB, Hon. Mohammed Monguno, called on representatives of host communities to make their submission.
“As the executive of one group was going to take the podium, another group dragged him and exchange of blows resulted,” the source said.
Hearing was subsequently suspended following the pandemonium as lawmakers and other participants scampered for safety, extractive 360 gathered.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had expressed disappointment over the inability of successive administrations to pass the PIB into law, saying it was difficult to explain why the bill did not pass despite collective interest by all for its passage.
The 8th Assembly passed a part of the bill named the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB), after it was broken down into segments for ease of passage during the last administration. However, the PIGB passed by the 8th National Assembly did not get the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A harmonised bill was forwarded to the National Assembly in September 2020 and the House passed the bill for second reading in November 2020.
The PIB, a law expected to reform the nation’s oil industry for more transparency and effective management has been in the making for about two decades, during which time Nigeria has lost investment estimates in hundreds of billions of dollars to other oil frontiers with more certain operating environment.