Dangote backs passage of Petroleum Industrial Bill
The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has advocated for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Dangote made his position known at the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers' (NUPENG) third quadrennial delegates conference with the theme 'Reforms in the Oil and Gas Industry: Catalyst for National Growth and Development – What Prospect for Attainment of a Decent Work Agenda,' which held in Port Harcourt yesterday.
Dangote, who was chairman of the occasion, said the desired reforms in the petroleum sector would only be achieved if the Federal Government could muster the required political will to conclusively drive the process. He described the bill as a bold step that would address the issue of corruption and ensure transparency in the sector.
The businessman, who was represented by Mr. Joseph Makoju, said the PIB is key to the survival of the Nigerian economy because it has the potential to attract investments and boost local capacity in the oil and gas industry.
Also, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, stressed that the passage of the PIB into law and the full implementation of government's reforms would enhance Nigeria's economy and drive growth.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi warned that unless the bill is passed and Nigeria is able to add value to its over two million barrels of daily crude production, a gloomy future lied ahead in the sector.
Represented by his deputy, Mr. Tele Ikuru, Amaechi said that 20 years ago, Nigeria was the dominant producer of petroleum products in the West African sub-region.
He noted that with the discovery of crude oil in some African countries and the United States (U.S.) strategic plan to reduce oil import by 75 per cent in few years from now, the price of crude oil, which is the mainstay of Nigeria's economy, would crash.
He warned that unless the National Assembly passes the PIB into law and the country starts the process of adding value to the over two million barrels of crude oil produced daily, the country will get to a point when it will be holding black gold that is almost worthless.
Therefore, he tasked NUPENG to lead the crusade for the passage of the bill even if it means embarking on industrial action, demonstrations and riotous agitation. According to him, the union will be justified because the bill has the capacity to attract investors and boost the economy.