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New PIB to help Nigeria stop foreign oil thieves, Mark tells envoy

By The Citizen
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The Senate President, who is also the Chairman of the National Assembly, has assured foreign oil firms operating in Nigeria that the PIB is neither aimed at discouraging the multinational oil and gas companies from prospecting corporations nor against any section of the country but will promote international best practices in the industry.

Mark who made this statement when the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ronhaar drs Berend Jan, met him in Abuja at the weekend, said that the PIB will correct some grey areas such that would bring peace and yield positive dividends to all stakeholders in the sector including operators, government, the host communities and the citizenry.

He said, 'there is nothing to hide or fear about the PIB' even as he assured that 'dialogue, towards a better operation of the oil sector is open and not foreclosed.' He told the envoy that Nigeria is also worried about the conspiracy or connivance by illegal oil bunkering and some foreign corporations to continue to steal the nation's crude, saying ' you should help us stop oil thieves because if there is no market for them abroad, they will not continue to steal. 'Their market is outside Nigeria. Help us discourage them.

If there is no market, there will be no illegal bunkering. The international community helped to stop stealing of diamond in Liberia, they can also help us stop oil thieves by refusing to patronize them'. The Senate President also requested oil-prospecting companies to respect local and international laws on the operation of the industry, pointing out that 'a situation where some oil companies flagrantly refuse to clean up oil spill or pay compensation to victims amounts to abuse.'

Earlier, Mr. Berend Jan expressed grave concern about the unabating activities of oil thieves, just as he acknowledged that Nigeria loses huge revenue on account of that. According to him, the unfavourable security situation in the country was discouraging prospective investors while existing ones are contemplating leaving the country.

He urged the Federal Government to have the political will to address the situation, even as he promised Netherlands' readiness to help Nigeria out of the quagmire. On the PIB, the envoy pleaded with the government to be cautious so that the law would not inadvertently discourage multi-national oil prospecting corporations from investing in the sector.