House Disowns Member for Claiming Lack of Investment in Oil, Gas Sector Shows Rejection of PIA

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The House of Representatives has distanced itself from a member representing Degema/ Bonny Federal Constituency in River State, Hon. Cyril Hart, who claimed that lack of the necessary investment in the oil and gas sector was a rejection of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Hart, who represented the Speaker of the House, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, made the remarks while addressing the Society of Petroleum Engineers at the 2024 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (SPEOLEF) held last Friday in Abuja.

“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 lack of investment in the oil and gas sector is a rejection of PIA,” he had said.

However, spokesman of the House, Akin Rotimi, in a statement issued yesterday, said it became imperative for the House to provide comprehensive clarification and context regarding these matters.

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

“While it is acknowledged that Rep. 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 Rep. 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.”

Rotimi, added that the House operates as a diverse body with members holding a broad spectrum of opinions and viewpoints on various matters of national interest.

He emphasised that in light of recent discussions at the SPEOLEF regarding Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, as well as the implications of the PIA, the Green Chamber acknowledged the concerns raised by some stakeholders.

The spokesperson added: “However, it is imperative to address and refute assertions suggesting a lack of confidence in the PIA.

“The Petroleum Industry Act (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 organisations, and the public.”

Rotimi, explained that contrary to claims of widespread skepticism, the PIA has garnered significant support from reputable industry experts, international partners, and investors who recognise its potential to unlock opportunities for sustainable development and growth in Nigeria’s energy sector

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