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Oil sector officials steal to buy jets â€'Rep

By The Citizen
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The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Mr. Dakuku Peterside, on Wednesday accused some officials in the oil sector of stealing government's funds to buy jets.

Peterside made this accusation during an interactive enlightenment workshop on Petroleum Industry Bill in Abuja that 0.005 per cent of Nigerians enriched themselves with the nation's oil money to the detriment of the larger masses.

The workshop was organised by Unite Consult Limited to highlight the gains of the PIB if passed by the National Assembly which was chaired by the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Isa Aremu.

Peterside, while trying to explain why the PIB had not been passed, said many Nigerians were of the view that once the bill was passed all the problems in the oil and gas sector would be solved.

'PIB is very important but it will not solve all our problems. It is important, but it is likely that the PIB will not eliminate the whole corruption in the system because one of the greatest challenges we have today in this sector is corruption.

'In fact, 0.005 per cent of Nigerians are stealing the money belonging to 120 million persons and nothing is happening to them. They get richer, own more private jets, while the rest of us get poorer and poorer and nobody cares about it,' Peterside said.

He urged the organised labour to hold government accountable for the ills in the oil sector, stressing that the industry remains the major economic backbone of Nigeria.

On the passage of PIB, Peterside assured that the House would pass the Bill once it had successfully studied and understood the voluminous bill.

Earlier in his address, the Vice-President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Isa Aremu, said it was high time the PIB was passed by the National Assembly.

He said although the bill might have some issues, such concerns would not be overcome if the provisions of the PIB were not implemented.

Aremu said, 'I think the new PIB is one of the progressive laws that will benefit this democracy. Its gains cannot be over emphasised. And I think that it is only foreigners that should oppose the passage of this bill considering the fact that it will promote local content.'