BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA — The European Union and United States Energy Council have called on the Federal Government to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill as part of measures to increase transparency in the nation’s energy resource development.
In a joint statement from the delegation of the European Union to Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday, EU and US Energy Council also offered to support Nigeria’s bid to reduce gas flaring.
The statement signed by Modestus Chukwulaka of the Politics, Economics, Trade, Information and Communication section, highlighted the council’s meeting in Washington on Monday to review progress achieved on strategic energy issues, cooperation on energy policies and research collaboration on sustainable and clean energy technologies as mandated by the Council in 2009.
The statement read, “The EU and U.S. noted Nigeria ’s 2010 adherence to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, a particular focus of last year’s Energy Council, and called on the Nigerian authorities to pass and implement a Petroleum Industry Bill to increase transparency in energy resource development, and to implement its far reaching program on power sector reform.
“While recognizing the positive impact of the Amnesty in the Niger Delta so far, the EU and the US urge the government of Nigeria to follow up on the UNEP report on Ogoniland, remedy the critical health and environmental problems facing this region and further engage oil companies and the international community on this issue.
“The EU and U.S. stated their intention to coordinate their respective efforts to support Nigeria ’s reform and development agenda, communicating regularly on key issues such as improved access to electricity, reduced gas flaring and good governance in the energy sector.”