Abubakar Malami, the former attorney general of the federation, says President Muhammadu Buhari rejected the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB) because the interest it represented was compromised.
He disclosed this during his ministerial screening at the senate, in Abuja, on Friday.
The PIGB is conceived to liberalise the governance structure of Nigeria’s oil industry by giving the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) the powers to enforce industry laws, regulations, and standards.
Buhari had rejected the bill after it was passed by the national assembly.
At the time, the presidency had defended the rejection, saying it was based on “legal and constitutional reasons”.
At the screening on Friday, Malami said Buhari rejected the bill because the interest of host communities was compromised.
He said approving the bill would have led to conferring power on an individual as against the institution.
“That bill (the PIG Bill) was fundamentally rejected among others, by the president because of the fact that the interest of the host community was compromised, in the sense that self-serving sections were brought into it, conferring powers on an individual as against the institution,” he said
“The public interest element of the role of the president requires that the public interest should be factored more as against public or individual interests.”
The house of representatives had since passed the PIGB again, saying it has rectified the concerns raised by the president.
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