11 March 2013, Abuja – The Deputy Chairman, House of Representative Commitee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, has called on his colleagues in the House to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
Speaking at the weekend in Abuja, Abonta said: “My colleagues should bury the hatchet and pass the PIB as this development will ease governance for President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I sincerely make this plea because all the six geo-political zones in our country stand the chance of benefitting from it because states that do not have crude oil today may one day become oil producing states.”
“Such states will also benefit from the 10 per cent proposed derivative being canvassed in the bill.”
“The bill is not in any way designed for any zone or rather it is designed for the entire Nigerian state.”
On the recent discovery that 83 per cent of allocated oil blocs are owned by northerners, Abonta said that should not be the main concern of lawmakers, stressing that what they should concentrate on at the moment was passage of the PIB.
“We shoud jettison sentiments and ensure the bill sails through both legislative houses now as Nigerians are all watching us,” he said.
It would be recalled that the Green chamber had set up an adhoc committee, headed by the Chief Whip, Isiaka Bawa, to look at ways and means to ensure the easy passage of the bill.
The committee was, however, not inaugurated last week as earlier announced by House leadership, and no reason was given by the House leadership for this.
Also, last week the PIB scaled second reading, despite stiff opposition from northern senators in the Red Chamber.