The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has advocated for effective management of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas in the interest of the people given that it is the mainstay our economy for now.
Governor Uzodimma spoke on Tuesday when he received in audience the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum and Industry Bill led by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan at the Government House Owerri.
Responding to the presentation of the Committee on why they were in the South East, the Governor said the Operators of Nigeria Oil and Gas should desist from making different laws and regulations for Nigeria alone, noting that “what is obtained in Nigeria by all standards should not be different from what is in other climes.”
He emphasized that “Oil Companies must be patriotic to treat our people like human beings,” hence he decried the fact that “the Petroleum Industry Act that is 45 years old is still without amendment in Nigeria when both the Country, the host Community and the economy have undergone several changes.”
Governor Uzodimma who expressed a lot of passion on the challenges faced by host Communities insisted that both the Communities, the Government and the Oil Operators need to sit down and look at the modus operandi as it is obtainable is Europe, America and Asia and see how to create a value chain that will allow for patriotic partnership.
He advised on the need for the Oil Companies and the host Communities to agree on establishment of social and infrastructural facilities such as good roads, standard hospitals and health centres, electricity to the host communities as well as training that provides education which will in future allow Nigerians and the host communities to take over the management of such companies.
He enjoined Senators to make the provision of social facilities and corporate social responsibility for the communities a must in the proposed annual budget of the oil Companies and see such as part of their oversight functions such that when that is achieved, the host communities will be happy and there will be relative peace in those communities.
He warned against using their God given natural resources to create enemity and divide the community into fighting themselves.
To the traditional rulers of the host communities, the Governor enjoined them to stop quarreling among themselves but should devote their time to asking for social facilities that will be long lasting and beneficial to them and their generation yet unborn.
On why they were in Imo State, the Leader of the team, Senator Akpan said they have come in person to interact with the host Communities to understand their peculiarities and challenges that will be built into the bill for passage by the Senate and the House of Representative soon.
The Chairman who was in Owerri along side the Vice Chairman, Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Uba and Senator Barinada Mpigi, assured the host communities of the protection of their interest in the proposed bill which is captured at the chapter three.
He had earlier informed the Governor that PIB which has suffered a long time set back in the National Assembly will definitely see the light of the day soon, as he acknowledged the hospitality of Imo people in general and Imo State government in particular.