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Published On: Sat, Feb 9th, 2013

Niger Delta Think Tank Calls For Speedy Passage of Petroleum Industry Bill

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The South South Development Think Tank (SOSODETT) has called on the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to enhance transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector.
The call is contained in a communiqué issued in Abuja on Friday and signed by Dr Otive Igbuzor, Director, Advocacy and Campaigns of the think tank.
“The passage of the bill is critical to the development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, all efforts must be geared towards its expeditious passage in the interest of the country.

“The bill should be passed as soon as possible in a form that will promote transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector.
“The on-going controversy on the bill does not augur well for the country, as the host communities bear the brunt of the devastating effects of oil exploration and exploitation,” the communiqué said.
It stated thet the bill should be passed in a form that would guarantee equitable interest and benefit to host communities.
It noted that government should promote inclusive growth that would provide employment for the youth.
It further said that youth unemployment was partly fueling kidnapping and other crimes in the Niger Delta region.
“There is the need to promote better leadership selection process and electoral integrity in the coming elections to ensure that the best among the people assumed leadership positions.
“There are many resourceful persons in the region, who can in no small measure contribute ideas, knowledge, intellectual software and strategies for the rapid development of the Niger Delta,” it said.
According to the communiqué, there is reported growth in the economy of Nigeria since returned to democracy in 1999, but poverty remains high in the Niger Delta region.
The group stressed the need for a national conference to discuss how Nigeria should be structured to promote rapid development considering the Niger Delta experience in the last 99 years.
“There is the need for the restructuring of Nigeria, ensuring that the country practices true genuine federalism with proper fiscal arrangements,” the communique said.

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