Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Jonathan praised for suspending oil leases renewal until PIB passage
Lagos (WorldStage Newsonline)-- The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a Benin based Non-Governmental Organisation, has lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for halting the renewal of leases for International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria, pending the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
ANEEJ’s Executive Director, Mr. David Ugolor, said in a statement that the oil and gas industry needed reforms that would help deal with modern day challenges and development without which revenue transparency would remain a tall order in the country.
He said: “The International Oil Companies should understand that it is in the overall interest of all stakeholders for us to have the Petroleum Industry Act in Nigeria. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well, when we know that there are a lot of issues that we need to resolve with the PIB.
“President Goodluck Jonathan’s action is welcome and we urge him not to relent until the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed and signed into law,” he added, pointing that in the next few weeks, ANEEJ would mobilize Civil Society actions to the National Assembly to drum support for the speedy passage of the Bill.
“The passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law will complement the effectiveness of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Secretariat which recent audit reports confirmed the urgent need to reform the oil and gas sector in Nigeria so as to create the enabling environment for all stakeholders.
“We would sustain the tempo of our media work as well, because the PIB is very vital to the economic life of this nation and we must follow through till our goal is realized. For us in ANEEJ, our hand is already on the plough. It is akin to a troop in the war front, no retreat no surrender.”
He asserted that the oil majors had been taking undue advantage of the weaknesses in the Nigerian oil and gas institutions, hence their desire to shoot down the bill all the while pointing that only a well articulated legal framework as represented by the PIB can bring sanity to the Nigerian oil industry.
“I want to call on the National Assembly to urgently pass the bill before the end of the lifespan of the current legislative assembly so that it can be to its credit that it was in their time that the Nigerian oil and Gas industry had a fresh breath of life,” he said.
Story by Ebenezer Ademola (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted by Crude Oil Daily at 1:21 PM
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