The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Wednesday, bemoaned non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), saying that Nigeria was loosing trillions of naira as a result of non-passage of the bill by the National Assembly.
This came just as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was represented at the event, reiterated that the PIB was for the benefit of the Nigerian people, stressing that passage of the PIB would provide employment for Nigerians, improve the power sector, among others.
But the chairman, House of Representatives on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Honourable Dakuku Peterside, stated that passage of PIB would not eliminate corruption in the country’s oil and gas sector as being bandied in some quarters.
The lawmaker, however, promised that the PIB would be passed “before the final quarter of this year,” noting that there was going to be changes in the bill, which, he said, would meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
This came to the fore at an interactive workshop on the PIB, organised by Unite Consult Limited, in Abuja.
The NLC Vice Chairman, Comrade Issa Aremu, who spoke on behalf of the NLC at the event, however, said “we hope the leadership of the National Assembly rise to the occasion and pass the bill.”
saying that, “it is a scandal that 12th largest producer of oil in the world is still operating an obsolete law of 1969”.
Speaking further, he said, “Chairman of the House committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), I don’t think he will want us to picket them, before the can pass the law (PIB)”.
While giving his remark at the event, Honourable Peterside maintained that, “For sometime now, there is so much emphasis on PIB. The impression we have is that, if the National Assembly pass the PIB today, the problems in our oil and gas industry will be solved. Is that true?” he asked.
Continuing he said, “PIB is very important, but it will not solve our problem. It is likely that the PIB will not eliminate of corruption in oil and gas sector”.
To this end, he said that Nigerians must begin to ask questions, stressing that, “Nigerians do not like to hold their government accountable, we like to murmur at the back…all Nigerians must collectively fight for our rights, if we don’t fight for our rights nobody will fight for us.
“What is PIB all about? It is one piece of legislation that seeks to consolidate all legislation in oil and gas sector”, he stated.
The Chairman of the House committee also asked Nigerians to support the National Assembly to pass the PIB that would stood the test of time. [NT]