passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill
Thursday’s passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB by the Senate has received praise and knocks from the Chairman of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Rivers State branch, Joseph Obele.
Obele told TELL magazine that though the PIB would open up the oil and gas sector for massive investments, it was sad news for the people of the Niger Delta and oil-producing communities.
He said, “The PIB is good news to the oil and gas sector and bad news to the people of the Niger Delta. To the oil and gas sector, it will dismantle the operational bottlenecks that we have long been complaining about; the bureaucracy and the dominance and monopoly of NNPC. And it will invariably usher in new entrants; new investors, which may, in turn, create a large volume of employment.”
But he said the bill failed to meet the expectations of the people of the Niger Delta whose communities produce the oil and gas.
“It’s not a fair deal to us; the reason being that we are the oil-producing people and the 10 percent proposed by the initiators of the PIB is not too bad or too big for the people of the Niger Delta. But a particular cabal from the north insisted that they will see to it that the 10 percent proposed for the immediate host communities will not see the light of the day.
That is not fair to us and it is not good news to us and we are not celebrating it. Why should we celebrate when you are taking out of our land and you are giving us 2.5 percent? This is not fair and it is now good news to the people of the Niger Delta,” Obele said.
He however said it was great news for the oil and gas sector. “In the oil and gas sector, we will see new investors; we will see lasting developments; we will see employment; we will see investments here and there. A lot of foreigners and a lot of international investors have been waiting that until the PIB is signed into law, they will not move in. And I think it has been done today,” he said.
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