Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has stated that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), when passed and diligently implemented, would resolve majority of the developmental and environmental challenges facing oil producing communities in the Niger Delta.
Governor Wike also urged the House of Representatives’ Ad-Hoc Committee on PIB to ensure that it tackled critical issues on the bill comprehensively, to avoid further crisis when the House passes the legislation.
Speaking at the Government House Port Harcourt, on Monday, during an interactive session with the House of Representatives’ Ad-Hoc Committee on PIB, Governor Wike said the oil producing communities had suffered untold hardship which must be addressed holistically.
Said he, “Our people have suffered so much. When people don’t understand what we experience, the criticize needlessly. I don’t think you will take lightly our challenges.
“I think this bill will cure a lot of environmental challenges in the Niger Delta. I urge this committee to put into consideration our terrain as you conclude on this bill,” the governor said.
He noted that the Niger Delta environment was highly polluted because of oil and gas operations in the area, pointing out that the Federal Government must invest in the resolution of these issues.
Governor Wike further said that the bill was controversial and has attracted attention because it has to do with oil bearing communities.
“If you rush the passage of this bill, you will create crisis. With the experience of the chairman of this committee, I believe the committee will do an excellent job “, he said.
The governor said that the State Government would make a comprehensive presentation on its position on the bill to the committee.
In his remarks, Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Ad-Hoc Committee on PIB, Alhassan Doguwa, said in order to avoid the mistakes of the past, the House of Representatives was working in synergy with the Senate to ensure early passage of the bill.
He said the bill has been segmented into components for easier administration and passage.
The federal lawmaker said that the Senate had passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, while it has undergone the first and second reading at the House of Representatives awaiting passage.
He said the National Assembly was committed to delivering on this national assignment because of its relevance to the host communities and the development of the oil and gas sector.
Doguwa also said that the retreat on the PIB was held in Port Harcourt because of the strategic importance of the State to the Petroleum Industry.
He commended Governor Wike for his achievements and urged him to keep the flag of projects delivery flying.