- For over 20 years in Nigeria, the much-debated Petroleum Industry Bill has witnessed a lot of setbacks
- However, the bill was unanimously passed into law by the two chambers of the National Assembly on Thursday, July 1
- A Niger Delta group says the passage of the bill is a testament to the hard work of Nigeria's minister of state for petroleum, Timipre Sylva
FCT, Abuja - The South-South Emerging Leaders' Forum (SELF) has said that it was not by accident that the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was passed into law a few days before the birthday anniversary of the minister of state for petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Sylva, a former governor of oil-rich Bayelsa state, will be 57 on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
A game-changer in the petroleum sector
The forum said Timipre Sylva's name has come to occupy a chapter in the contemporary history of Nigeria based on the empirical indices of his nationalistic, patriotic, and detribalised values and contributions to national cohesion and development in general.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, July 6, by its national coordinator Comrade Benjamin Kolowei, said the forum is proud of Sylva's achievements as a public officeholder since he joined politics.
Kolowei said specifically that the minister is being celebrated because the passage of the PIB into law is one of the 9-point agenda Sylva rolled out to achieve when he took over as minister.
Advantages of the Petroleum Industry Bill
While commending the minister's advocacy role on the bill, the group said the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation under Sylva will now be more accountable with the passage of the bill.
Part of the statement read:
“The ministry of petroleum resources under the supervision of Chief Timipre Slyva has become a formidable front-driver in the process of diversifying the country’s mono-cultural economy by exploring and promoting the midstream sector of huge gas production, for both local consumption and export purposes.
“We are also celebrating the 57th birthday anniversary of our amiable ambassador because of the ongoing diversification under his watch through gas which will create lots of jobs to stimulate the nation’s economy.
“This is an addition to creating the National Gas Expansion Programme basically to exploit the country’s comparative advantage in the abundance of natural gas reserves.”
In March 2021, SELF expressed happiness over the approval of $1.5 billion (about N600 billion) by the Federal Executive Council for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
The forum described the news as exciting even as it commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Sylva.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, March 18, the forum said fixing the refinery will positively impact the economic activities in the south-south region.
Earlier, the group warned against media reports aimed at tarnishing the image of senior government officials of the Niger Delta region.
The forum specifically frowned at the conduct of the publisher of an online medium, Jackson Ude, who is based in the United States of America.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Monday, February 15 by the secretary of the forum, Dr. Preye Johnson, the group asked Ude to prove his recent allegation against Chief Sylva and the executive secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote.