From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors under the umbrella of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) have described the newly assented Petroleum Industry Act as the party’s convincing credential to restructure the Nigerian economy through the democratic process.
PGF equally commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the historic feat of moving the nation forward and the National Assembly for their parliamentary input in articulating the Bill after several years of abandonment.
In a statement signed by the Forum’s Chairman, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, it quipped that even critics of the ruling party and the governments cannot ignore the fact that the coming into law of the PIA is an important democratic milestone.
According to the statement, ‘the new PIA present a convincing credential of the commitment of our party, APC, to restructure the Nigerian economy through the democratic process in line with provisions of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended.
‘Inspired by our leader, President Buhari, we are confident that democratic engagements based on strategic considerations of legislative proposals in the National Assembly to make or review existing laws, the Nigerian economy will be fully restructured.
‘Even critics of our party, APC, and our governments cannot ignore the fact that the coming into law of the Petroleum Industry Act is an important democratic milestone. It signposts the commitment of our party and our government to develop the oil and gas sector and resolve all the challenges associated with the operations of the sector.
‘With the new Act, there should be remarkable improvement in revenue collection from the oil and gas sector. This is expectedly the Next Level governance initiatives our party has promised Nigerians during the 2019 campaigns,’ the statement read.
Reacting further, the APC Governors wrote: ‘The PGF congratulates Mr President for achieving this important milestone. We pledge our commitment to support the process of transition to the new era of oil and gas operational and management as provided by the new Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
‘We remain committed to a democratic process of negotiating the reform of our Republic to make it more responsive to the needs of Nigerians. Similarly, we are indeed more confident that the ongoing process of Constitutional Amendment in the National Assembly, will produce more reforms of the structures of the Nigerian economy.
‘Accordingly, the PGF would continue to collaborate with the National Assembly and the federal government to mobilise public understanding to accelerate the process of change in the country. Through our engagements with the leadership of the National Assembly, we would also continue to provide all the needed support to enhance the already existing synergy between both the executive and legislative arms of government.
‘We will continue to draw lessons from President Buhari’s leadership and take all the necessary steps to replicate it in our respective states,’ they promised.
‘We join all Nigerians to celebrate this important achievement in the operations and management of Nigerian oil and gas sector. We also want to use this opportunity to congratulate members of the two chambers of the National Assembly on the successful passage of the PIB.
‘Without the cooperation of members of the National Assembly, in particular the leadership, with all the discordant voices around the debate leading to the passage of the PIB, the new law would have been aborted, as was the case in the past.
‘Once again, congratulations to President Buhari, Distinguished Senator Ahmed Lawan, Senate President, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, members of the National Assembly as well as public servants for providing the leadership to achieve this important landmark in Nigeria’s economic and political management of the oil and gas industry,’ the statement read.