The Senate was yesterday divided along party lines over the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as senators elected on the platform of the minority Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, opposed debate on the bill.
Following the opposition by the PDP senators, the second reading of the PIB was suspended. The bill to provide for the governance and institutional framework for the petroleum industry and other matters was sponsored by Senator Omotayo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo Central).
It was learnt that while Alasoadura was leading the debate on the bill, PDP senators mostly from South-south and South-east countered him with shouts of “No, no”. When the opposition persisted, the Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, raised a point of order demanding the suspension of the debate.
Wading into the matter, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said: “I am sure in order to give them time to retrieve what was distributed on Thursday we would step it down so that they can go and get the document that was distributed. And also we observed that the financial compendium is not there. So, please ensure that the bill that has been distributed on Thursday is brought and we will now put it before the next debate and Senator Alasoadura to ensure that the financial compendium is attached to the bill”.