Reps to prioritise concerns of host communities in PIB
The Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Victor Nwokolo, has promised a speedy consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) at the House of Representatives.
The piece of legislation, already passed by the Senate, is geared at sanitising processes and activities in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
Nwokolo, who represents Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, told newsmen at the weekend in Asaba that the lower chamber of the National Assembly would conscientiously consider the age-long concerns of host communities in the course of legislative action.
Reiterating the timely passage of the bill, Nwokolo promised a law that encompasses the interests of all stakeholders. He explained that the piece of legislation was only one-third of the total documents begging for the attention of the National Assembly.
“The bill has gone through first reading and by next week, it will go through second reading and will be given accelerated attention that it requires,” he added.
The Guardian learnt that the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Ijaw National Congress (INC) have expressed disaffection with the Senate’s on the issues relating to the host communities, which they noted, were not addressed.
Nwokolo went on: “If you are also following the proceedings in the House of Representatives, you will agree with me that we are taking it holistically because we have dealt with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB). We have also gone through the fiscal and the host community bill. So we are taking it holistically so that no section of it will be kept out.”
He submitted that the approach was consistent with what obtains in other parts of the globe where petroleum is a natural resource.
The lawmaker listed Alaska, Mexico and Venezuela among others where host communities are valuable stakeholders.