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Bayelsa Gov, Diri, calls for amendment of PIA, says it’s a time bomb



The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is a time bomb, according to the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, who called for its amendment.

Diri said the exclusion of states and local governments from dealing directly with the oil companies and their host communities will not end the ongoing crisis between them.

Diri made this known during a courtesy visit from the new Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Rear Admiral Eugenio Ferreira, and other officers in Government House, Yenagoa.

“We are happy we have a PIA that guides the industry. However, we saw a lot of flaws even before the Bill was assented to. At that point, l referred to the Act as a time bomb.

“I also said that there would still be serious crisis between the oil producing communities and oil companies and by extension, the federal government. One of such indications is that the federal government in that Act successfully excluded the state and local governments to deal directly with the communities.

READ ALSO:Bayelsa Gov, Diri, slams critics, opposition over claims of infrastructural crisis

“In recent times, we have started seeing crisis between the communities and oil companies over the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other issues. And the state governments have been called to intervene. So that Act needs further amendment,” Diri said.

He asked that the PIA be amended to include the host communities’ states, as well as their local governments for peace and stability in the oil industry.

Diri called for the development of the host communities in order to curb oil theft, illegal oil refining and other illegal activities faced by the oil companies.

“While as a government, we would not support anybody involved in oil theft, illegal oil refining and all other acts that contribute to pollution, underdevelopment and killings, we would also like to state that the best way to tackle the issues is to fast-track development to these areas.

“We can assure you that these same people will become protectors of oil installations domiciled in the Niger Delta,” He added.

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