By Ephraim Oseji

Despite assurance by the Federal Government that there were no irregularities in the ongoing renewal of over 42 oil licences, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has raised the alarm over the exercise.

Onuesoke

Speaking in Asaba, Delta State, Onuesoke said even though the Petroleum Act of 1969, as well as the Petroleum (Drilling & Production) Regulation of 1969 (as amended in 2001) authorise the Minister of Petroleum Resources to renew oil licences once statutory payments in terms of applicable royalty, concession rentals and fees are paid, renewing the licences without passing the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, will make the oil-bearing communities feel a sense of neglect and will be a major setback for the country.

We shall restitute all established cases of extortion, injustices — APGA

He argued that with the PIB Bill, fiscal terms in the renewal processes would have improved, while the country would negotiate from a position of strength in an atmosphere that provides confidence for investors.

He lamented that failure to secure presidential assent on the PIB indicates that significant uncertainty remains on the legal framework governing the petroleum sector.

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