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Yar’Adua tasks N-Deltans on new petroleum bill

By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—NIGER Deltans have been told to take what ever grouse they have against the new petroleum industry bill to the National Assembly as debate on it had not been concluded. President Musa Yar Adua, who gave this indication weekend in Port Harcourt during the commissioning ceremony of Masters Energy city, an indigenous initiative, said the bill was still in what he termed the public domain.

The President, who was represented by his Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), said it was the duty of the National Assembly to take into considerations logical positions on the bill.

“There is a public hearing beginning before the Senate Committee, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and before the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, that is the forum during which all stakeholders have a chance to make their views felt.

“As you know, the Petroleum Industry Bill is an Executive Bill that was presented by the Executive to the National Assembly.

The National Assembly’s responsibility and prerogative is to make laws based on the best interest of the people for whom they are making laws, so everyone has a chance to make his views known and feelings felt,” the president said.

Continuing, President Yar’Adua said the fury in the region over the relocation of the University of Petroleum Technology to Kaduna State was not necessary because it would not change the place of the region in the oil and gas business in the country.

“Now for the time being and the foreseeable future, the greatest level of manpower that is going to access our policy of local content will be the low and middle level manpower which is located in Effurun (PTI).

“The graduate and post-graduate activities, I am not sure if it really matters where that is located because the key for the industry is going to be in the Niger Delta,” he said.

The President of Masters Energy Group, Mr. Uchechukwu Ogah, explained that the facility that was commissioned could store 158,000 metric tons of petroleum products and 28,000 other chemicals when fully activated, and would employ more that ten thousand Nigerians.

He added that the construction and building plans of the facility were of API 650 standards.According to him, the depot will, among other things, serve the need of the South-South, South-East and Northern states in the down stream sector


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