British envoy urges senate to pass PIGB, electoral reform act before 2019 polls


British envoy urges senate to pass PIGB, electoral reform act before 2019 polls
Harriet Thompson, British deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, has urged the national assembly to pass the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB) and other critical bills before the expiration of its tenure.
Thompson made the call when she paid a courtesy visit on the Senate President Bukola Saraki and Ahmad Lawan, senate leader, on Monday in Abuja.
She also called for the passage of the Companies and Allied Matters Act(Amendment Bill), the Police Reform Bill, Disability Bill and Gender Equal Opportunity Bill as well as the Electoral Reform Act(Amendment Bill).
“We are here today to talk about some aspects of your legislative agenda as the official campaign has started prior to the elections,” she said.
“We very much hope that the next assembly will be able to continue with some of the serious business ahead of it.
“We hope to hear from you and if I might say some bills with which we have particular interest and we have spoken many times before.
“The first is the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Police Reform Bill, the Disability Bill and the Gender Equal Opportunity Bill and the Electoral Reform Act.”
The deputy high commissioner said passage of the bills would go a long way in meeting the needs and aspirations of Nigerians, particularly in terms of their well being, security and development.
Responding, Saraki said: “I assure you and the public that we will continue to do our best to see that some of the bills which are also key to us and emanated from the legislature are passed.
“They are the PIGB which has never gone this far. We have worked very hard in the two chambers of the national assembly and sent it to the executive, unfortunately it came back with a number of issues raised.
“However, these are issues that we feel should not stop the progress of the bill. We are a bit disappointed that the bill was not signed because the issues raised could easily be addressed and not hinder its passage into law.
“We are trying to address the issue and sending it back to the executive because we know the enormous impact it will make in terms of transparency and accountability in the sector and government revenue.”