By Ediri Ejoh
CHAIRMAN of Emerald Energy Institute, EEI, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, has attributed the current woes of the country’s economy as well as the difficulties in the petroleum industry to non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
He stated: “We know that events in the industry cannot be blamed on recession. Well you read what the government put out recently and how they plan to get out of recession, which is quite commendable.
“But we are yet not out of the woods, the problem is still there in the industry, and I do hope that they will also not put out artificial plan but rather pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which will be one of the most important things that they can do to get us out of the trouble where we are.
“This is because we have all the ingredients that will bring about positive change right in the PIB, and that is precisely what we are saying. What was designed which I gave to Former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2008, was the basis for the amnesty program because we designed how government and the host communities would share in the oil and gas business for Nigeria.’’
Justifying the inclusion of 10 percent in the PIB, Egbogah said, “I proposed the ten percent for the host communities so that the government and the region could be partners in the business, and that is the basis for the amnesty program.
“However, if the regions have a share in this, we would have no problem, because you can’t go into militancy to destroy that which is your own. And there was a provision on the bill that this will be the case and if there is any act of vandalism or militancy that will lead to the destruction of oil production, you will lose your own share from the ten percent that will be given to you in the oil business for that particular year.”