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By Innocent Anaba
Former Minister of State for Petroluem, Mr. Odien Ajumogobia, SAN, yesterday, said it was imperative for stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to iron out their differences, so that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, would be passed into law.

He also decried a situation where the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, was not accountable, as it does not give account of the money voted for it annually by the National Assembly.

Mr. Ajumogobia, who was keynote speaker at the on-going international conference on 'Oil and Gas Contract and Dispute Resolution' in Asaba, Delta State, organised by  Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS, said passing the PIB was necessary to address the shortcomings in the Petroluem Act, passed in 1959, which was still in force in the country.

Meanwhile, Delta State deputy governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, SAN, has called for more training for lawyers in the country, to address the seeming flaws in contracts between the Federal Government and oil multinationals on oil and gas exploration, which tended to favour the oil companies more.

Ajumogobia on the pending PIB, said: 'It is a complicated matter. We have a petroluem law that came into force in 1959 and you know that the oil industry has experienced a lot of changes since then. This was why we have the PIB to address some of the current issues, such environmental issues.'