Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nigeria: Oil Producing States Seek Quick Passage of PIB Into Law


Chinedu Wosu

Yenagoa — Nine Oil-Producing States in the country have urged the National Assembly to ensure the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill PIB into law.

The Oil Producing state also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for urging the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law, including the ten percent clause contained in the bill.

National President of the Association of Community Leaders of the Nine Oil-Producing States in Nigeria, Ishmael Frank-Oputu, spoke to Newsmen in Yenagoa during a media briefing by the association at the NUJ Secretariat.

Investigation showed that over $12 billion Brass Liquefied Natural Gas Projects in Twon Brass, Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have been put on hold until the PIB is passed as the passage would determine whether the investor would sign documents relating to gas supply agreement or not.

The tendering process that would lead to the construction of the plant, it was gathered, had been completed but the investors were not willing to sign any contract; because they wanted to see the fiscal regime in the PIB when passed.

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Madueke, had last week, reiterated Federal Government's commitment to ensure the passage of the PIB by the end of April.

Diezani-Madueke said: "The gas suppliers want to know what profit would accrue to them and this has to do with fiscal regime which would enable the investors to make informed decision as regards the commodity that would be supplied".

"The gas supply contract is $12 billion; almost the same amount would be needed to build the plant. The sources said investors were not skeptical about the PIB but were being careful so that they would not be doing the work and government would, take the profit through taxes or fiscal regime."

Frank-Oputu, noted that Jonathan's action had confirmed his readiness to alleviate the plight of impoverished oil-bearing communities, insisted that the current derivation principle had not taken them out of the woods.

He called for the inclusion of the 10 percent clause in the PIB, pointing out that it would give the oil-producing communities whose land, water and air had been rapidly polluted by the activities of multinational oil companies, a sense of belonging.

Frank-Oputu urged the National Assembly to fast-track the passage of the bill, adding that if passed, funds released by the federal government would be managed by the communities to accelerate the development.

He appealed to the federal government to review the activities and mandates of the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with a view to meeting the yearnings of the Niger Delta and spelling out their operations to avoid duplication of projects in communities.

No comments:

Post a Comment