28th February, 2012
Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers on Monday urged the Senate to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill before it to enhance the nation’s economic growth.
Amaechi made the call in Port Harcourt when the Senate Committee on Petroleum on the Downstream Sector, led by its Chairman, Sen. Magnus Abe, called on him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua forwarded the bill to the Sixth Senate in 2008.
According to him, when the bill is passed into law it will promote industrialisation, create employment, improve the economy and reduce crimes.
“Seventy percent of the reason for crimes is poverty and the key cause of poverty is unemployment,” he said.
Amaechi noted that the lack of a law to govern operations in the industry had been hindering the development of the sector.
“There has not been much investment in the oil sector because there is no law governing operations of the country’s petroleum industry,” he said.
“The oil servicing companies are not working and because they are not working they have laid off their staff,” he said.
The governor pointed out that the laying off of staff had increased the crime rate.
Abe, who represents Rivers South- East Senatorial District, said that the committee was in Rivers “to see for ourselves the condition of Port Harcourt refineries”.
He said that their visit was also “to continue our interaction with key stakeholders in the downstream sector to try to reposition the sector.
“As a committee, we believe that the downstream sector of the petroleum industry is where the true value for this country lies.”