adplus-dvertising
News

PIA controversy: Reps, speaker disown Rivers lawmaker

The House of Representatives has dismissed recent comments attributed to the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, concerning the Petroleum Industry Act.

The Speaker was recently quoted in some media outlets as saying that the lack of necessary investment in the nation’s oil and gas sector is an indication of the rejection of the Petroleum Industry Act.

Official estimates released by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission showed that investments in the oil and gas sector fell from US$27bn in 2014 to US$6bn in 2022.

Speaking at the Society of Petroleum Engineers 2024 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum in Abuja on Friday, Abbas, represented by the lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency, Rivers State, Cyril Hart, was quoted as saying, “Prior to this time, we were told that we were not getting investment into the sector because the international community was waiting for the PIA.

“Now that the PIA is here, we are not seeing the investment, which means that the lack of investment in the oil and gas sector is a rejection of PIA.”

In a statement issued on Wednesday, House spokesman, Akin Rotimi, said the remarks by Hart were his personal views and not of the Speaker or the entire House of Representatives.

The statement read in part, “It has been brought to our attention that certain statements attributed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives have been circulating in various media outlets.

“In order to uphold transparency and accuracy, we find it necessary to provide comprehensive clarification and context regarding these matters.

“The statements in question purportedly emanated from Cyril Hart, who represented the Speaker at the 2024 Society of Petroleum Engineers Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum convened in Abuja.

“While it is acknowledged that Hart delivered remarks at this esteemed forum, it is crucial to underscore that his expressions therein were conveyed as his personal opinions and viewpoints.

“It is incumbent upon us to stress that the views articulated by Hart do not reflect the official stance of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, nor do they constitute the collective perspective of the House as an institution.

“The House of Representatives operates as a diverse body with members holding a broad spectrum of opinions and viewpoints on various matters of national interest.”

Rotimi added, “The PIA represents a milestone achievement in the reform of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the management of our nation’s valuable natural resources.

“It is the result of extensive deliberations, consultations, and collaboration among stakeholders across various sectors, including government, industry players, civil society organizations, and the public.

“Contrary to claims of widespread skepticism, the PIA has garnered significant support from reputable industry experts, international partners, and investors who recognize its potential to unlock opportunities for sustainable development and growth in Nigeria’s energy sector.

“While it is acknowledged that concerns may exist regarding certain provisions or implementation mechanisms of the PIA, it is essential to approach these issues through constructive dialogue and engagement rather than resorting to blanket assertions.

“The House of Representatives remains committed to overseeing the effective implementation of the PIA, and making amendments as necessary, ensuring that the interests of all stakeholders are safeguarded and that the objectives of the Act are realised for the benefit of the Nigerian people.”

The House called on media outfits  and the public alike to exercise prudence and diligence in attributing statements to the appropriate individuals and entities, “As misrepresentation or misinterpretation can undermine the integrity of public discourse and democratic processes.”

Back to top button