OrderPaperToday – Member representing Mbaitolu/Ikeduru federal constituency of Imo State in the House of Representatives, Mr. Henry Nwawuba, has cautioned that Nigeria must reform the petroleum sector now in order to take advantage of the black gold resource while it is still relevant.
He expressed the determination of the House to accelerate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari after a thorough scrutiny has been done.
Mr. Nwawuba made these points on Friday during a question and answer series hosted on Twitter by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) in conjunction with OrderPaper Nigeria.
The tweet chat was organized to deepen understanding of and further disseminate the outcome of the Post Covid-19 Petroleum Agenda for Nigeria (PoCoPAN) webinar on host communities organized by OrderPaper Nigeria in conjunction the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta and the NNRC. Download the outcome document of the webinar here.
Discussing reforms of the petroleum sector at PoCoPAN webinar
PoCoPAN Petroleum Reforms Webinar
During the live Twitter event, he lawmaker, who is the deputy chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta, expressed disappointment in the way crude oil resource has been handled in the country.
For instance, he said it was unacceptable that after over 60 years since commercial exploitation and exploration, the oil sector itself has not grown into viable midstream and downstream sectors as well as diversified allied industry, which in turn, would have catalysed the diversification of the country’s economy.
Hear him: “So far we have failed to add value to our crude oil resources. We need to diversify the oil economy itself before talking about other sectors. If we had a robust mid stream and downstream industry we won’t be where we are today.
“We have not really treated oil as the goose that lays the golden egg. We have refused to add value to it. The National Assembly is trying to put very strong regulatory and governance structures in place. We have been running with the old 1969 Petroleum Act.
“Nigeria has a proven deposit of about 40 Billion barrels of crude. By my calculation, if we drill at an average of 2 billion barrels a day, we will run out of crude by the year 2075. Our population be then will be well over 500 million people”.
Meanwhile, Nwawuba sued for a change of pattern and approach from leaders saying, “We need to be shifting away from what we have been doing to what we must be doing.  Our dependence on the extractive industries and fossil fuel deposits has exposed and alienated our economy from growth.
Petroleum reforms host community tweetchat
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“Our focus must be on those things that are necessary to navigate the future. There should be zero tolerance for wastage of resources. We need financial planning models to withstand future internal and external shocks in the event of depletion of our crude reserves,” he urged.

Nwawuba’s submissions reecho a widely circulated Op.ed he recently wrote on the Niger delta.

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