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Senate seeks Nigeria’s inclusion in $147bn global bitumen market

The Senate yesterday passed for second reading a bill seeking the establishment of an agency for the exploration, production, and exportation of bitumen in Nigeria.…

The Senate yesterday passed for second reading a bill seeking the establishment of an agency for the exploration, production, and exportation of bitumen in Nigeria.

The Bitumen Development Commission bill was sponsored by Jimoh Ibrahim (APC, Ondo South).

Ibrahim, in his lead debate, said setting up the Bitumen agency would promote the government’s economic diversification policy and expand its revenue base.

He said the bitumen global market is worth $147 billion and that Nigeria, with over 38 billion reserves of bitumen, the second in the world with an estimated value of $42 billion, could not afford to lose out.

He specifically informed the Senate that more than 80% of the resources are found in Canada, the United States of America, Venezuela, and Nigeria.

However, he lamented that while other countries blessed with the resources are exploiting it through required legislation, Nigeria has no legal framework for such exploration with attendant untapped opportunities and huge market loss.

“The proposed Bitumen Development Commission, when established, would fast-track the development of Bitumen in Nigeria, make the country a key player in the $147 billion global market, and create instant 12,000 jobs for Nigerians,” he said.

When passed, Ibrahim said the proposed legislation would provide a legal framework for the regulation of the Bitumen development in Nigeria; prevent unconventional sources from taking advantage of research-enhanced applications over other competitors and ensure the effective utilisation of over 38 billion reserves of bitumen in the country.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio directed the committee to report back to the Senate within one month.

 

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