Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has lost huge investments due to the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Okowa made the assertion yesterday when the Co-Chairman, National Assembly Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Hon. Mohammed Monguno and members of the committee paid him a courtesy call, at Government House in Asaba.
The governor however, expressed optimism that investments in the country’s oil and gas sector would be increased substantially, once the PIB was duly passed by national legislature.
Okowa, said that he was excited about the inclusion of Host Communities Fund in the PIB, adding that the provision of the specific fund would make the people part-owners of the ventures and encourage oil host communities to protect oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta.
Okowa said, “You have come obviously for a very important assignment, something that we have not been able to achieve as a country in the last 14 years.
“We are glad as people from the Niger Delta to hear both leaderships of the National Assembly speak about their commitment towards passing the PIB.
“If you do achieve it, your name will be definitely written in gold because, for too long, we have been talking about this Bill and we are already endangering the oil industry.
“People are agitated towards the direction of the PIB and when there is anticipation and action is not clearly taken, it leads to the loss of investment opportunities because people are worried about the direction of the industry.
I am glad that there is this commitment on the part of the leadership of the National Assembly and we will be proud of you if you are able to achieve the passage this time around.
“We hope that with the provision of the Host Communities Fund, it will impact in their lives and help them to live a sustainable life.”
Speaking earlier, Monguno, who is the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, said that the committee’s delegation was in Delta State in furtherance of the legislative processes leading to the passage of the PIB and also assured that the Federal Government and other stakeholders would ensure the passage of the PIB.