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Why i would not rush to sign PIB: Buhari

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…As NUPENG Accuses Oil Industry Players of Flouting Buhari’s Executive Orders

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, said he would not be compelled to implement policies relating to the oil industry even though the sector is frost with challenges.

Buhari who was apparently reacting to controversies trailing his decline in assenting to the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill(PIGB), said reforms in the oil sector needed to be put into proper perspective before implementation could take place because of the impact it will have on the nation.

He said talks regarding the PIGB were still ongoing and cannot be exhaustive.

He gave his opinion while being bestowed with the honour as “Grand Comrade of the Productive Workers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry” by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“I fully agree with you that reforming the Petroleum Industry will unlock numerous untapped potentials for the nation. However, these reforms must be well thought out and must have the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians as its core objective.

“Such reforms cannot and must not be rushed if we must get it right. We are still suffering from the effects of many legacy policies that were rushed and passed without fully appreciating the consequences the provisions embedded in them.

“Whatever decision we take now will impact either negatively or positively on generations to come. The Petroleum Industry Bill was conceived to ensure Nigeria’s future generations are positively impacted by its oil wealth. It was never about short-term gains. I want to assure you that dialogue on the Petroleum Industry Bill is still ongoing. At the end, we will have a bill that the nation will be proud of,” he stated.

Speaking on refineries, the President said the Public Private Partnership approach adopted to rehabilitate our existing refineries has taken longer than expected to achieve the desired results.

“However, I am aware that the NNPC has concluded the process for selecting the private sector partners that will rehabilitate the refineries. I am informed that they are working out finances and hopefully, work will commence soon,” the President said.

NUPENG President, Williams Akporeha who led other executive members of the union to Aso Rock, accused the industry players of flouting some Executive Orders of President Buahri, noting that contract outsourcing and expatriate quota still remains a major problem in the sector.

He also raised the need for government to check continued importation of petroleum products, stating that the redundancy of the refineries was taking its toll on NUPENG members while the nation suffers foreign capital flight.

he said, “You administration’s practical steps in bridging the wide gap between the rich and the poor in the country through various initiatives such as Trade Moni, support for farmers, embargoes on luxury/ostentatious goods, TSA, school feeding, have gone a long way in alleviating poverty in the country”.

“NUPENG is also worried about the non-implementation of Executive Order on local content and employment of Nigerians in the oil sector because multinational firms are still not appropriately employing Nigerian graduates.

“The delegation further appealed to the President to direct security agencies to intensify surveillance and protection of oil pipelines and other infrastructure, and concluded by wishing Buhari victory in 2019.

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