Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State yesterday drummed support for the Petroleum Industry Bill saying its passage into law will not only complement the Nigerian Content Development Act in building capacity but also provide succour and better life for Nigerians at large and the oil bearing communities in particular.
Chief Sylva made the remark at a sensitization workshop on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 held in Yenagoa.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Agriculture, Dr. Sibiri Elliot, the governor who recalled the pain of the people of the oil bearing communities of the Niger Delta said “we are not oblivious of the fact that for over fifty year the people of the oil bearing areas suffered unquantifiable environmental and health hazards generated by the oil and gas industry without commensurate economic benefits.”
“For us, therefore, the Nigerian Content Development Act gives us hope of proper integration into the oil and gas industry through the employment of qualified indigenes of oil bearing states and the utilization of indigenous businessmen.
“The glimmer of hope and opportunity presented by the Nigerian content Act gives us, as a government, fresh impetus to purse more vigorously the massive and quality education of our youths so that they would acquire the requisite employable skills required in the oil and gas industry.”
He added that when the Petroleum Industry Bill is eventually passed into law by the new National Assembly, it would complement the Nigerian Content Development Act in building capacity and providing succour and better life for Nigerians at large and the oil bearing communities.
He also used the opportunity to commend President Goodluck Jonathan for his foresight and thoughtfulness in enacting the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 which culminated in the establishment of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to implement the law as well as sitting the headquarters in Yenagoa, the state capital.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa said the board will continue to facilitate the economic development of the country with the expectation that economic growth would translate into improved standard of living and well being of Nigerians.
He noted that the mandatory engagement of Nigerian content is intended to trigger and encourage the development of indigenous capabilities in the oil and gas sector.