Buhari is criticized, but he deserves praise for signing the PIB into law

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law on Monday drew mixed reactions.

While President Buhari has been chastised for signing the Bill into law despite concerns about the 3 percent host communities fund, others have praised him for finally opening up the petroleum sector to more investment, boosting economic growth.

Despite the public outcry that greeted the PIB’s passage, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) claimed that Buhari has demonstrated that he has no regard for the people of the region by signing it into law.

PANDEF’s Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said in a statement on Monday that Buhari’s assent to the PIB was insensitive, and that he had sent a clear message to the Niger Delta people that they didn’t matter in the country.

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“It’s quite unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari went ahead to assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill, despite the overwhelming outcry and condemnation that greeted its passage by the National Assembly, especial­ly with regard to the paltry 3% provision for the Host Communities Development Trust Fund and the brazen ap­propriation of an outrageous 30% of the oil revenue,” the statement read.

“This PIB falls far short of the hopes of oil and gas-producing communities who bear the brunt of unethical industry practices.

“President Buhari’s assent simply reflects the abhorrent attitude of disregard, propelled by arrogance, disdain, and contempt, with which issues relating to the Niger Delta region are treated, particularly by the current administration.

“What this act represents is an unequivocal message to the people of the Niger Delta that how they feel and what they say have no bearing on the Nigerian project.

“The people of the Niger Delta will speak soon, after thorough consultations, about this heinous act and the best legal and political response.”

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