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“No PIB Passage, No Re-election” – Dr. Ojo To Lawmakers

The Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo said if the members of the 7th National Assembly fail to pass into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) they should equally forget their re-election.

Dr. Ojo made this known to journalists shortly after a one day programme, tagged “Raising Public Awareness On The Petroleum Bill Towards Enhancing Transparency And Accountability In The Petroleum Sector”.

Dr. Ojo asked rethorically, why should the lawmakers come back to the National Assembly when they fail to pass the PIB?

He lamented that the PIB has been on the floor of the National Assembly since 2009 and the passage of the Bill is not in sight, saying they are worried that the National Assembly is caving in the oil companies blackmail and should quickly reconsider their position and pass the bill without delay.

Dr. Ojo said the National Assembly members should consider the votes of the electorate because anybody who refuse to work according to the aspiration of the people will be voted out.

The Executive Director stated that the civil society organization in the Niger Delta will mobilize the people against those lawmakers that stand against them.

“The Petroleum Industry Bill is a conflict of environmental degradation and environmental justice struggles these past 50 years”.

Earlier in an address delivered the Executive Director, Dr. Ojo maintained that the PIB was crafted to restructure the oil and gas sector, improve efficiency and enhance transparency and accountability as well as consolidate all extant laws relating to the oil and gas sector in one document.

The environmentalist decried the level of poverty as audited report by NEITI over the last 10 years show that the industry is steeped in corruption, lack of capacity and an overwhelming absence of transparency and accountability in the management of oil and gas resources in the country.

He stressed further that the Environmental Rights Action is actively engaged in popularizing and raising public awareness of the Petroleum Industry Bill with the goal of ensuring that this law ultimately delivers for the Nigerian people an oil and gas that is vibrant, corrupt free and where oil producing communities will be major stakeholders in profit and implementation.

Dr. Ojo said the non implementation of the UNEP Report by the government and the oil companies is the denial of the existence of the Ogoni people. “The 1 billion dollar clean-up fund should be provided,” he said.

The Executive Director explained that the civil society organization refused to believe Shell when they said they have part of the fund because of their basket of lies as they refused to mention the amount and where is it.

“We also condemned the Federal Government’s stand on the issue when Shell claims that they are ready to pay the clean-up money but Federal Government is delaying the process,” he stated.

Also speaking, Barr. Mike Karikpo said the PIB should be amended especially the ambiguous provision, the removal of none disclosure clause, clarity in offences and penalties and effective provisions on transparency and accountability among others.

He said since oil was discovered in the region in the past 50 years over 600 billion dollars had been earned by Nigeria.

Barr. Karikpo told participants that Nigeria and indeed Rivers State will be far better if we demand that money from oil should be properly used in a transparent and accountable manner. ###

 

Pius Dukor

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