11 November 2013, Lagos – Amid insinuations that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly has been doctored to favour foreign oil multinationals, Lagos State Government and experts in the nation’s petroleum and gas sub-sector of the nation’s economy have urged the National Assembly to live above board in the discharge of its responsibilities.
The state government and experts spoke at the workshop organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to sensitise its officials on the contents and reality of the petroleum Industry bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly.
Speaking at the one day workshop, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Taofiq Ajibade Tijani, called on well-meaning Nigerians and members of the National Assembly to scrutinise the bill and ensure that the bill does not tie down the nation’s economy to foreign partners.
He said, “It is important that officials of Lagos State Government are abreast of what the bill is all about to be able to plan and bring out policies that will be of advantages to the state government”.
According to him, Lagos state would soon be a major player in the oil and gas sector, pointing out that all laws and policies guiding the industry needed to be well understood by the state official.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, a seasoned petroleum engineer and expert in the oil and gas sector blamed the nation’s past leaders on the current woes in the oil and gas sector and the adverse effect it had on national economy.
The resource person revealed that 95 per cent of the nation’s oil and gas players are foreigners posing serious dangers to the existence and stability of the nation.
He revealed that the current bill on petroleum industry at the national assembly had been so doctored to suit the interest of foreign and major players in the oil and gas industry.
Ibrahim therefore cautioned members of the national assembly to scrutinise the bill very well before it’s passed into law.
Mohammed who spoke extensively on the global hydrocarbon industry said the country cannot be classified as an oil producing state in its current operational system where 95 per cent of operators in the upstream oil and gas sector are foreigners.
-George Okojie, Leadership