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National Assembly panel pledges to ensure quick passage of PIB

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National Assembly

The National Assembly has assured that the lingering Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed for presidential assent within one or two months for the development of host communities and to ensure that major oil companies do not relocate from the country.

Chairman National Assembly Joint Committee on PIB, Sabo Nakudu made this known in an interview with The Guardian after a town hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

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Nakudu said oil would soon become obsolete and there would be no need for it, hence the urgent need to sell the reserves and use the money to develop the host communities and make the people happier.

He added that to attract investments into the country, there must be a deliberate attempt to consider the interests of all stakeholders and resolve all grey areas before its passage.

“I can assure you that we will pass the bill in the next one or two months because if we don’t, major oil players will leave the country. This is not business as usual as you know this is an executive bill.

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“It includes the host communities and there is governance, physical and administrative clauses due to the nature of the situation. The world is changing completely and in the next couple of years, the oil will become obsolete. Therefore, it is better to sell the reserves and use the money to develop the host communities,” he stated.

Speaking, a former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Nduese Essien, said the bill should consider all issues raised by all parties to resolve the yearnings of the petroleum industry and host communities.

Essien, who is also a former House of Representatives member, said for true development of the Niger Delta region, all International Oil Companies (IOCs) should relocate their administrative headquarters to their areas of operation and production.

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On his part, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, John James Etim, expressed sadness that state governments were excluded from the process of appointing members into the various committees and institutions the bill was meant to establish.

He added that the provision in the bill meant for the composition and appointment of members into the Host Communities Trust Fund board of trustees and management committee was skewed towards making the oil companies and other powerful Nigerians control and dominate the host communities.

Also, Assam Assam (SAN), who spoke on behalf of the government and people of Akwa Ibom State, urged the committee to listen to all opinions, adding that the situation and the circumstances of the Niger Delta people would not change until the critical issues were addressed.

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