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Why the North is opposed to PIB bill – Senator Abba-Ibrahim

By The Citizen
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North is opposed to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) because it is offering additional monetary provision for oil producing communities.

To the people in the North, the communities are already getting enough from extant laws which would make additional 10 per cent envisaged for them in the PIB an over kill.

The chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Sen. Bukar Abba-Ibrahim (ANPP-Yobe), who spoke at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, described the PIB lopsided.

The North, Abba-Ibrahim said, is particularly opposed to the clause in the PIB, which is asking for additional 10 per cent revenue for oil producing communities.

He said: 'Derivation is only one out of seven sources of revenue for the oil producing states. They have the Federal Government's take home, the NDDC with over N500 billion being projects only in oil producing communities, and they also have the Niger Delta Ministry with over N400 billion Federal Government grants in the name of amnesty and oil companies doing social corporate responsibility.'

Adding another 10 per cent to the already existing revenue generators for the zone, the Senator, would be unfair.

'Adding another 10 per cent to all these seven sources, I don't know how you are going to have peace where resources allocations are so skewed to one side and unfair,'' he said.

Abba-Ibrahim said this addition in the PIB was unacceptable and suggested that the money should go into the treasury so that every Nigerian could benefit from it.

'Nobody planted or farmed oil, it is God who put it there and it will not last forever. It will get to a point where the oil will finish and another natural resource will come up and every Nigerian will benefit from it,'' the senator said.

The lawmaker added that the North is also opposed to the PIB because of its failure to make provision for the exploitation of other minerals in other parts of the country.

According to him, 'We have over 800 million tonnes of limestone in Gulane, Fune and Guljimba local governments of Yobe, but as a state government, you cannot go and exploit, it has to be done by the Federal Government.''

Despite this hardline position, he believes that the bill will be passed if the fears of sections of the country was properly addressed.  He said the bill when passed into law would sanitise the Industry and address corruption.

Speaking on the security challenge in the country, Abba-Ibrahim said that although dialogue might not be the only solution, it remained the best solution.

'I am not saying it is the only solution because there are many ways to solve it, but I believe that dialogue remains the best.'