Stakeholders reject PIGB over unclear approach to halting gas flaring
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country, yesterday took a swipe at the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) that was recently passed into law by the Senate. It rejected the bill for containing no provisions for ending gas flaring in oil producing areas in the country.
They are consequently requesting that for it to be more acceptable, the senate should reverse themselves on the decision. The organizations, according to their representative and Director, Social Action, Dr. Isaac Osuoka, are civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Socialist Workers League, Global Rescue Mission and Keen and Care Initiative.
Osuoka said some of the groups and their members were drawn from host communities where most of the oil companies operate. He said the PIGB in its present state was flawed, non comprehensive and short of clarity of intention.
In his words: “Restructuring of the oil and gas industry must not only be to serve the commercial interest of multinational oil companies and a few local businesses but the general interest of the country and her people.”
They requested that to make the law more encompassing and acceptable, a comprehensive package of the intended new legal regime for the Nigerian petroleum industry should be tabled before the National Assembly and other stakeholders for consideration.
Osuoka said, “reviewing the document will show transparency on the part of government and give opportunity for relevant stakeholders, civil society organisations, environmentalists and sustainable development advocates to do proper analysis of the legal regime to ascertain its relevance to issues of environmental protection, termination of gas flares, fiscal accountability and transparency, easy access to justice and host community development and equity.
“Anything less may not be good for the petroleum industry, stakeholders and the Nigerian populace. “Our analysis clearly shows that PIGB as passed by the Senate is seriously flawed. It does not provide for health, safety and environment (HSE) concerns.
“There is no provision for an end to gas flaring. There is a lack of independence for regulators and a glaring neglect of host communities’ interest in the proposed new institutions.’’
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