Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome has described the PIB Bill just assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, as a mere ruse, a monstrosity, an artifice and device, carefully crafted, incubated and delivered, to actually do irretrievable violence to Nigeria’s progress.
According to Ozekhome, the Act constitutes a direct assault on age-long cherished principles of federalism and the doctrine of separation of powers, most ably propounded in 1748 by Baron de Montesquie, a great French philosopher.
“The PIB Act seeks to frontally attack the provisions of section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, which state that all revenues accruing to the Federation shall be paid into a Federation account from which sharing shall be made amongst the three tiers of government – the federal, government, the 36 states and the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria.
No expenditure can be made by the Federal Government outside the provisions of section 162. Nor can any monies be expended without going through an Appropriation Bill through submission of budgetary proposals. See sections 80- 84 of the Constitution.
To the extent that the Act seeks to redesign the provisions of the Constitution (the fons et origo, grundnorm, Oba, Eze and Emir of all our laws), to that extent is the Act unconstitutional. It must therefore be struck down with the constitutional sledge hammer of section 1(3) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
In a sane clime, Nigeria’s only surviving cash cow, the NNPC, ought to be totally unbundled , to make it more viable, productive, transparent and accountable to the Nigerian people. But, alas, most curiously, the Act has further strengthened NNPC’s hand of non-accountability and non-responsibility.
How can the federal government alone have shares in the only viable milk industry of Nigeria, to the total exclusion of the other three tiers of government, major stakeholders, oil-bearing communities and the long-suffering people of the Niger Delta?