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Senate version of PIB selfish —Reps

By News Express on 07/04/2016

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Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Rep. Uzonna Nkem-Abonta (Abia-PDP), said the Senate was selfish in drafting a new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Nkem-Abonta told newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja that the bill as redrafted excluded host communities from benefiting from 10 per cent development fund paid by oil majors operating in Nigeria, and described it as ‘improper.’

He said that bill was intended to correct anomalies of the past, adding that what the Senate tended to do in the new draft would compound the situation in the oil industry, which government and stakeholders were seeking to resolve.

“The Senate is being parochial in its proposal. Every law is made to correct a lacuna.

“Host community funds means a certain percentage of revenue generated from the exploratory activities of oil is retained for the development of the host community.

“So, when you take it out of the PIB, you are indirectly saying the host communities are not important. This is not right.

“Mind you, the degradation of the environment is not peculiar to oil producing areas. If you go to Jos in Plateau, they are still suffering from adverse effects of long period of mining activities.”

The lawmaker also called for the entrenchment of fiscal federalism in the country.

He explained that if states and federal governments were jointly involved in the exploration of minerals, the tension created by the attention given to oil would be lessened.

“I am also advocating for full fiscal federalism where states can partake in the exploration of any mineral content found in their locality.”

Nkem-Abonta also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to usher in industrial and agricultural revolution in the country to help diversify the economy.

According to him, Nigeria has enough agricultural potential to be among the top agricultural economies of the world.

He said that Nigeria which was blessed with adequate natural resources should do what was right to achieve sustainability and self-reliance. (NAN)

•Photo shows Speaker Dogara.

Source News Express

Posted 07/04/2016 1:58:14 PM





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