Senate yesterday threw out the much criticised Social Media Bill.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from Kebbi State, has been widely criticised and seen as not only a significant clampdown on freedom of speech, but a deliberate targeting of critics of federal lawmakers and the National Assembly.‎
This is as the House of Representatives on their part, adopted a report on a ‘Bill to Establish the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State.
Reading the report of the Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, which considered the proposed law, Senator David Umaru explained that passage of the bill would do more harm than good.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the session said the action of the Senate showed that not every bill that came to the Senate would be passed.
He added that the Senate by the action had proven that it was a listening Senate and democratic.
It would be recalled that the bill when introduced raised a lot of opposition from various quarters who saw it as an attempt to gag the media.
Petroleum Varsity Bill
In a another development, the House of Representatives yesterday considered and adopted a report on a “Bill to Establish the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State.”
Nigerian Pilot recalls that the bill, which was sponsored by Hon. Evelyn Omavowan Oboro (PDP, Delta) during the 7th Assembly, was committed to the committee of the whole for consideration last month.
Part of the provision of the bill was to free the indigenes from the present state of monolithic dependence on importation of refined oil products and that the university shall be a training institution for the development of the middle and high-level manpower for the oil and gas sector.
The university, which is to be domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is also to encourage the advancement of learning and to hold out to persons without distinction of race, creed, sex or political conviction.
The university is also to serve as an agent and a catalyst through post-graduate training, research and innovation for the effective and economic utilization, exploitation and conservation of the country’s petroleum resources.
The university is mandated to identify the technological problems and needs of the petroleum industry and find solutions to them within the context of overall national development.
The sponsor of the bill said with its successful passage, all that the Senate needed to do was to concur on the proposed law.