By Diana Omueza
Action Democratic Party (ADP), has urged National Assembly to hasten the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), to enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability in the oil industry.
Mr Yabaji Sani, the National Chairman of the party made the call on Wednesday at a news conference at the party’s headquartres in Abuja.
Sani said that it was time the lingering controversies surrounding the PIB were resolved.
According to him, the PIB would further open up development and ensure infusion of local contents and indigenous technical know-how in oil prospecting, exploration and refining of crude petroleum.
Sani also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to strive towards reviving the textile industries in Nigeria.
“If the nation’s collapsed textile industries were brought back to life as promised, they would help provide thousands of jobs to employment youths.
“Nigeria will also save about 4 billion dollars, being used annually to import textile products.
“If the present administration is able to accomplish that singular feat, the economy would experience an appreciable level of breather,” he said.
He also said that deregulation of the downstream sector under the PIB will further lead to inflow of huge direct foreign investments into the country.
He, however, said that it was necessary for the PIB to be scrutinised to remove apparent shortcomings and other encumbrances to avoid failures in actualising the intended noble objectives.
Sani said that the bill in its present form appeared to have been crafted to make the sector more opaque by giving the regulatory agencies in the oil and gas sector an overriding control.
This, he said would lead to the exclusion of other government agencies and institutions that were constitutionally mandated to oversee operators in the sector.
Sani said that the ADP was in full support of the unbundling of the oil industry into multiple agencies.
He advised the APC led federal government to muster the required political will to take the bull by the horns in the face of available options.
Sani lauded federal government for initiating the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline, saying that it would tremendously impact on the nation’s economy by affording manufacturers and industries cheap and easy access to a critical source of energy.
He urged the President to ensure that the project was executed to stand as an outstanding legacy of the administration.
“We join Nigerians to laud the reopening of the borders; however, with the reopening of the borders, the government must be more alive to its statutory responsibilities of checking the inflow of lethal contrabands.
“These contrabands include dangerous drugs, small arms and light weapons presently being used by criminals and non-state actors in ruining of our productive segments of the population by destabilising the peace, security and stability of the country,” he said.
Sani said that the year 2020 witnessed one of most unprecedented escalation in the recurring security challenges in the country.
He said that beside the Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East, the North-West also became a vast theatre of mayhem in the year.