Governor of Imo State Hope Uzodinma has said that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law will help to regulate environmental hazards such as oil spillage.
“All the hazards that follow the production of oil, mostly environmental hazards, are as a result of the absence of regulatory environments,” he said on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Tuesday.
“These laws when put in place, will not only regulate the environment but will also create room for value addition both in the oil-bearing communities, the oil-producing companies and government royalties. So, it is going to be a value chain. The benefits are going to be so enormous”.
The Governor commended President Buhari for signing the bill into law, noting that it had been a struggle over the years.
“I must say that the enactment and signing to law of the Petroleum Industry Bill by Mr President is a very welcome development for which we must congratulate him.
“Recall that the past assemblies even before I joined the senate during the 7th National Assembly, made efforts to amend the Petroleum Act which was enacted in 1969 which also became analog but it has not been possible. That the President has been able to break this jinx is a welcome development for which we must congratulate him”.
The oil-producing states in Nigeria are Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Abia, Imo and Lagos.
According to a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina on Monday, the President signed the bill into law while in quarantine, after his arrival from the United Kingdom.
“The ceremonial part of the new legislation will be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled,” the statement said.
The Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.
The Senate had passed the bill on July 15 and the House of Representatives followed suit on July 16.
The act is expected to replace the obsolete Petroleum Act of 1969.
With the passage of the bill, three per cent will now be allocated to host communities from the oil companies in those communities.
The percentage has, however, remained a subject of heated debate with many saying it is too little.
The three per cent is different from the 13% derivation fund which is paid to oil-producing communities from the federation account.