The governor said the passage of the bill was crucial for the petroleum sector.
Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State on Monday urged the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as it would improve the nation’s economy.
Mr. Amaechi, represented by his deputy, Tele Ikuru, made the call in Port Harcourt when the House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill called on him.
He said it was appalling that the bill had not been passed into law six years after it was brought to the National Assembly, adding that the delay had made the nation’s economy to suffer.
“Anyone who hears about the PIB, and the fact that it has been on the table of the National Assembly or between the Federal Government and the National Assembly for well over six years now from the time it commenced, will be thoroughly worried.
“I say worried because 80 per cent of our total revenue comes from the oil sector,’’ he said.
The governor said the PIB should not stay more than a month or two wherever it finds itself and called for accelerated attention to be given to the bill.
He said: “It is so important, it goes to the heart of this country. It goes to the heart of the economy of this country.
“And for a bill that is at the heart of the economy of this country, for a bill that we all depend on to be wobbling over and over, it simply means that perhaps we have missed our direction as a people.”
The governor urged the committee members to “expedite action on the bill because of its importance to the economy of the nation”.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ishaka Bawa, said that the committee members were in the state to give the people the opportunity to make inputs into the bill before it was passed.
“Instead of having discussions on the PIB only on the floor of the House, we decided to bring it to the open and offer Nigerians the opportunity to make inputs into the process.
“The decision of Nigerians will prevail at the end of the day,’’ he said.
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