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Activists advise President Jonathan on PIB
Report by NNEWS Correspondent

 

"We expect the PIB will spell out all elements of the reform of the Petroleum Industry needed to entrench probity, transparency and accountability," the ANNEJ Executive Director told Nigeriannews.com

Two environment activists Rev. David Ogolor of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and Arc.Nimmo Bassey of Environmental Rights Agenda (ERA have differently offered their pieces of advice to President Goodluck Jonathan on his planned efforts to reform the petroleum sector.

 

President Jonathan on Monday in a nationwide broadcast on the deregulation of the downstream sector of the Petroleum Industry said, "the legal and regulatory regime for the petroleum industry will be reviewed to address accountability issues and current lapses in the industry"

Rev. Ogolor, who is the Executive Director of ANEEJ, and who spoke to Nigeriannews.com commended the President on his decision to fast track the reform of the downstream sector, noted that only a complete institutional frame would bring about the reform of the sector.

He said "we welcome the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to give the Petroleum Industry Bill, an accelerated attention. His commitment is quite progressive and in line with the yearnings of Nigerians who are keen on ending the resource curse phenomenon that has characterized the Oil and Gas industry in the past five decades. ‘’

 "We expect the PIB will spell out all elements of the reform of the Petroleum Industry needed to entrench probity, transparency and accountability," the ANNEJ Executive Director told Nigeriannews.com

The activist added that "our next expectation from President Jonathan in this regard is to match words with action.

``And I suggest he sends a fresh Petroleum Industry Bill to the National Assembly within two weeks from today.  The draft Bill should be printed and circulated to all stakeholders, even posted in the internet and if possible, serialised in national dailies to avoid a situation where several versions will be in existence as was the case in the 6th legislative Assembly. This will also afford Nigerians the opportunity to make their input into the Bill.

 "Thereafter, those of us in ANEEJ and our allies working on revenue transparency in the country would follow up with the parliamentarians to ensure its speedy passage,’’  an apparently excited Rev. David Ugolor enthused..

According to him, "It was equally nice to hear Mr. President reassure Nigerians of his commitment to tackle corruption in the oil industry and elsewhere, ‘’ saying that ``this reassurance is quite laudable and we urge Mr. President to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations, particularly given the widespread acknowledgement of the rot in the NNPC over the years and more importantly, to serve as a deterrent to all those who would be involved in the reform of the sector and hence the transformation agenda of the present administration.’’

On government’s reduction of pump price to N97  a litre, Arch. Bassey, the Country executive Director of Environmental Rights Agenda (ERA) said ``it is good that the government had seen the need to shift grounds.

But he noted that ``the reduction is not sufficient as the subsisting budget supports N65 per litre, saying that ``the  N97 figure is a phantom figure that is not backed by us.

Arch. Bassey, however, said that`` the probe called by the president of the so-called subsidy payments is a step in the right direction.

`` However, the probe of the cabal and government agents should be handled by peoples’ tribunal not an EFCC which hands are still full of cases of corruption crying for attention,’’ he said.

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