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Oil workers commend passage of petroleum industry bill


Hyginus Chika Onuegbu

Workers in the oil and gas sector yesterday commended the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), describing it as a partial relief to the industry.
Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) made the commendation.

The NUPENG Chairman, Hyginus Onuegbu said the Bukola Saraki-led Senate and its Joint Committee on the PIGB, led by Tayo Alasoadura did well by passing the bill.

While describing the passage as a milestone, they alleged that over N235 billion had been lost in the last 17 years that its passage had been delayed.“We therefore look forward to its concurrent passage by the House of Representatives and the eventual assent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.

But Onuegbu expressed worry that the bill only deals with an aspect of the entire PIB, which is the governance and institutional framework of the country’s petroleum industry.

He said: “We look forward to the passage of the other aspects such as the: The Petroleum Fiscal Framework Bill; The Petroleum Industry Downstream Administration Bill; The Petroleum Industry Revenue Management Framework Bill and the Petroleum Host Community Bill.

“The bill, as passed, will not deliver the full benefits of the intended reforms, except a legislation is made in the other parts. It is worrisome that no mention was made of the petroleum host community fund, particularly as it is the major challenge in the Niger Delta area.”

Onuegbu said the full passage of the bill was necessary to sustain the recent truce reached by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo with the host communities in the region.

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Hyginus OnuegbuNUPENG
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