The Petroleum Industry Bill has been stepped down after a protest by senators of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Raising a point of order, the Minority Leader, senator Godswill Akpabio complained that the bill is a very important bill which must be studied before a debate can begin.
According to Akpabio the copies of the bill ought to be ccirculated to members to enable them contribute effectively to the debate.
He said: “I believe that we are discussing about the mainstay of the economy of Nigeria since 1960.
“The Petroleum Industry Bill is such an important bill that will affect people suffering in this country.
“It is not the kind of bill that we can stay here and gloss over and then allow somebody to do a lead debate without senators having the bill in their hands.
“It is something we must study and come and make our own inputs because we have to make sure that the bill is properly debated for the president to sign it into law.
“I think it is an exercise in futility for my brother to do a lead debate when the bill is not circulated to senators.”
The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, therefore, ruled that the bill be stepped down to another legislative day, but stressed that from his records, the law makers were given the bill last Thursday.
Saraki said: “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.
“So, please ensure that the bill that has been distributed on Thursday is brought and we will now put it before the next debate.”