19 July 2016, Abuja – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has accused the Federal Government of not taking steps to address agitations of oil producing communities in the country.
The Speaker also lamented that the National Assembly had written to the Presidency to submit its proposed reforms on the oil and gas sector about three times, lamenting that the Presidency was yet to do anything in that direction.
Dogara, who stated this during the National Stakeholders Summit on Petroleum Industry Reforms organised by the House Committee on Petroleum in Abuja, said the legislature was determined to draft a law for the industry that will be in the best interest of Nigerians.
He noted that Nigeria was one of the richest petroleum regions of the world, but had not been able to effectively maximize its immense oil and gas potentialities and the revenue accruing from them.
Importance of PIB
Harping on the importance of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, for economic recovery of the nation, Dogara said: “We are not unaware of the several failed attempts at redeeming the petroleum industry by our predecessors.
“The Petroleum Industry Bill has been down a long, tortuous, and chequered road. Most of us have been co-travellers in the journey to pass the bill into law, and have the requisite experience to avoid any pitfalls ahead, hence this resolve to seek proper consultations with you and build confidence among us.
“The need to make consensus and lend a voice to long suppressed agitations in the drafting and consideration of petroleum industry bills informed our decision to organize this stakeholders summit.
“We are optimistic that this approach will provide the crucial platform to enable us cross-pollinate ideas and ventilate our positions on certain contentious issues, regardless of how vexed they may be. You can be rest assured that our work at the National Assembly is to do your good intention.
“Nigeria is one of the richest petroleum regions of the world. Paradoxically, it has never been able to maximize effectively its immense oil and gas potentialities and the revenue accruing from it.
“The downstream operates in a state of almost continuous malfunction, and, for years, has been characterized by comatose refineries and an inefficient downstream”.