✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

PIB implementation will destroy our economy, Northern coalition kicks

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has warned against the implementation of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The bill, which was passed by the National Assembly…

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has warned against the implementation of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The bill, which was passed by the National Assembly last month, prescribes  the allocation of 3 percent operating expenditure of oil firms to host communities.

The reduction of the percentage from five to three had sparked fierce argument among lawmakers.

But addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Spokesman of CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, called for the immediate halt of the process.

He said the bill is capable of destroying the economy of the North as it will “hand over the petroleum sector to one region”.

Suleiman said the bill is merely an extension of the elite monopoly of the total available economic activity in the country at the expense of ordinary Nigerian citizens with dire consequences on the northern region in particular.

According to him, the coalition observed that the PIB suggests a total departure from the current trend where the NNPC will be commercialized and the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) will be merged to form an authority that will regulate the oil business with the implication of total deregulation of the market.

He said, “The first concern here is, bringing together agencies with supervisory roles with an agency that implements policy is deliberately contradictory.

“Secondly a self-funded agency (consumers’ funds) to be merged with government-funded agencies is yet another deliberate contradiction.’

“CNG notes the growing suspicion around the involvement of a private refinery in Lagos said to be connected with influencing the processes for the passage of the PIB to ultimately allow its owner undue sole monopoly of operating a door-to-door oil business by which he refines and transports the products to the outlets across the country as he currently does with cement business.

“The cost of transportation of the products will be embedded in the pump price that will be decided by him alone without government input in a country where over 75per cent of the population lives below the poverty line.

“With this arrangement, the current oil marketers across the country will only serve as dealers/agents that will depend on commission after-sales.

“In such a situation, the major players of the downstream sector that own thousands of trucks, hundreds of filling stations, thousands of employees will be at the mercy of the refinery owner with the attendant risk of rising in inflation.

“By this, the private refinery owner would have invariably taken over the functions of the Petroleum Equalization Fund, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and that of the Directorate of Petroleum Resources.

“It is also suspected that eventually the four Nigerian refineries will be sold to this individual, just like Benue cement and other public owned cement industries.”

The coalition noted that the current oil marketers will be crippled financially as their income will only be decided and regulated by a single umpire.

He said this will turn them to commission agents and most of their staff and subsidiaries will be out of business.

Suleiman said the passage and implementation of PIB would be the final nail that will permanently seal the fate of the North economically and socially.

“We demand the immediate halt of the process for the PIB in its present construction as it would invariably impact negatively on the livelihood of northern communities especially those of the far northeast and northwest who would be forced to buy fuel at a disabling inflated price.”

“Warn all northern representatives in the National Assembly that they will be held responsible for the mass sufferings that the PIB will force on northerners if they allow it to pass.

“To demand a comprehensive investigation into the alleged underhanded deals between the private operator of the refinery in Lagos and some members of the National Assembly to influence the success of the Bill which would hand the total monopoly of production, transportation, marketing and more dangerously, pricing of petroleum products.

“To invite the attention of all segments of northern leadership and the credible section of northern elders and all civil society organisations in the North to rise to defend the people of the region by rejecting the PIB.

“Declare that the CNG will not hesitate to go to any length to challenge the passage of the Bill including taking legal action.”

Are you currently earning in Naira but need salary/earnings in Dollars? You have an opportunity to earn as much as $10,000 (₦9.2 million naira) monthly. Click here to get evidence.

%d bloggers like this: