TUC urges National Assembly to urgently pass PIB into law
‘It will encourage investment in oil industry’
CITING the loss of $80 billion investment in the country’s oil and gas industry due to the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged the National Assembly to urgently pass the bill as it has made Nigeria appear unserious globally.
Rivers State TUC Chairman, Chika Onuegbu, stated in Port Harcourt yesterday that it becomes imperative for the National Assembly to act on the PIB immediately, especially against the backdrop of the sharp fall in the global price of oil, which has negatively affected the Nigerian economy, causing it to lose daily about 400,000 barrels of crude oil through pipeline vandalism; insecurity in Niger Delta; government’s inability to fund Joint Venture budgets and expenditures, thereby stalling on-going oil and gas projects and operations; huge cash call arrears.
Onuegbu added that the non-passage of the bill by the 6th and the 7th National Assemblies despite all appeals by various stakeholders presented the country as very unserious, expressing regrets that the fact that the PIB has been the subject of discourse in the National assembly for 8 years without any progress has created significant uncertainty in the Nigerian oil and gas industry leading to the loss of $80billion in investments and arrested development of the industry.
“It is not enough for the government to present the PIB or any of its parts as is being currently suggested to the National Assembly. We have seen that since 2008. Government must, more importantly show the necessary political will to ensure that it is passed into law and implemented to the letter” he said.
Onuegbu explained that all stakeholders must work assiduously to ensure the passage of the PIB into law, as it will signal the commencement of the conclusion of some 15 years of reforms in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.