Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the courage to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill was passed into law.
He said that by assenting to the bill, the president succeeded in breaking the jinx of the old 1969 Petroleum Act begging for amendment over the years.
Speaking on Channels Television Tuesday, Governor Uzodimma also congratulated members of 9th National Assembly for working hard to ensure that the PIB eventually becomes a law.
Uzodimma said; “I am excited over the Petroleum Act. I commend the NASS and President Muhammadu Buhari for a job well done and particularly Mr. President for breaking the jinx of the 1969 Petroleum Act as enacted.”
He listed the gains of the Petroleum Act to include regulation of environmental hazards, creation of room for value addition to oil bearing communities and the oil companies, and generally, the ability to engender a value chain in the oil sector.
The governor also reasoned that 3% assented for the oil bearing communities should not be the focus of the Petroleum Act.
“All over the world corporate organizations have a responsibility to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We don’t even need a law for oil operating companies to know that when the community is not happy it will affect production.”
According to the governor, creating a conducive working environment will enhance return on investment and create a win-win situation for both oil companies and host communities.
He said; “It is not about 3 per cent or even 10 per cent or more. To me, it is not about money, it is more about return on investment, ensuring that business is doing well. Even if you make a law for 10% or 20% or more payment and the business is not profitable, there will be no money to give.
“We need an enabling environment beneficial to the host communities, oil companies and the government and everybody will be happy. Reasonability of men to understand that a win-win situation and live and let live is needed is key in the operation of the Act.”
Governor Uzodimma reiterated that it is not only allocation of money that is important, but sincere and strategic deployment of resources as allocated is what is more important.
He also emphasized ability to avoid discrimination and obey regulatory framework.