OrderPaperToday – The Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly has the potential to resolved the issues confronting the petroleum sector in Nigeria.

Omo-Agege, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Otive Igbuzor, disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking a colloquium on petroleum industry bill and the host communities, organised by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative in Owerri, Imo state.

He noted that the existing framework in the sector has denied the country the value and wealth from the abundant oil resources in the country.

Omo-Agege said that the dark cloud will soon be over with the passage of the executive bill which is already before the National Assembly.

“Behind such dark cloud, is a silver lining. The good news is that the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (2020) is coming to change all that.”

He stated that the bill will ensure proper corporate governance of the state-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which the bill seeks to name NNPC limited. He added that having two separate regulatory agencies for the upstream and downstream sectors is essential for host communities.

Omo-Agege, who is from the oil producing state of Delta State, noted that the restiveness in the oil producing areas are avoidable with proper interface between host communities and oil companies operating in the region.

He said: “In our recent past history, we have seen perhaps avoidable restiveness from these host communities, that border around what has been perceived as inadequate care or concern for the survival, and, or well-being of these peoples.

“I want to say that whatever administrative shortfalls that may have informed these acts of resistance, would not have been there if the appropriate interface between the operating companies and the host communities was the order. The rules of such interface at every segment of the value chain can only be prescribed and administered by appropriately constituted and operated regulatory agency or agencies.

“In this light, the Bill provides for a dual regulatory system. The first takes care of the upstream sector where the most encounter with host communities, happens. This is the Upstream Regulatory Commission. The second is the Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority.”

Read the full remark here.

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