Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha
By Ernest Chinwo and Okon Bassey
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, has said the legislature would ensure that host communities account for oil and gas installations in their area in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before it.
He however said the National Assembly would also ensure that the interests and aspirations of host communities would be protected in the passage of the bill.
This is as the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress issue a resolution in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State pledging to support the passage and implementation of the Petroleum Industry bill which it tasked the National Assembly to pass into law.
Ihedioha stated these on Thursday night in Port Harcourt, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the maiden edition of Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Economic Zone Development Summit, with the theme: "Shared Responsibility, Shared Prosperity."
The lawmaker, who was chairman of the event, said there could be no greater economic sabotage than insecurity, stressing that there would be no development without peace.
He called on communities hosting oil and gas installations to always remain peaceful even in their agitations for their economic rights.
"Investors will move to Nigeria and our communities when we have peace and security. We cannot develop without peace and security. Sabotage, unrest and breaking of crude oil or petroleum products pipelines should be discouraged. We should keep up with the prevailing peace and security in Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro LGAs,” he said.
He also pointed out that the innovative idea of the summit was a landmark and a step in the right direction, and called on the people to brainstorm on how to take advantage of the Nigerian Content Act.
Ihedioha stated that the Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, was not only transforming the state, but also projecting the state positively.
Amaechi, while declaring the summit open, said the timely summit was well thought-out, stressing that infrastructure must be provided to attract investors, but pointed out that the people should not wait for the government to do all things for them.
He said for economic prosperity, the people must be united and focused, while calling on other elected representatives to borrow a leaf from Peterside and organise similar events in their constituencies, to showcase their potential, in order to attract investors, thereby taking prosperity to all parts of Rivers State.
The resolution signed by the Chairman House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Hon. Essien Ekpeyong Ayi and Deputy President, NLC, Comrade Promise Adewusi advised that the powers of the Minister of Petroleum as proposed in the bill should be checked to avoid possible abuse.
The workshop facilitated by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Nigeria office also had in attendance Hon. Klaus Brandner from German National Assembly, Bundestag.