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Nigerian civil society puts out strong warning in relation to Petroleum Bill

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By JohnBosco Agbakwuru.

Here’s a report from civil society action in Nigeria: “CSOs threaten to move against lawmakers’ re-election over PIB”:

A coalition of  Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, yesterday, threatened to mobilise the masses against re-election of members of the National Assembly should they fail to pass the Petroleum Industrial Bill, PIB, before the 2015 elections. The CSOs, comprising Environmental Rights Watch/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, Green Alliance Nigeria, GAN, the Host Communities Network of Nigeria, HOCON, and Students Environmental Assembly Nigeria, SEAN, had, on Tuesday staged a rally at the National Assembly for the final push of PIB. Addressing journalists in Abuja, Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Ojo, said the essence of the briefing was to press home their demands for the lawmakers to pass the PIB, which, he noted, had popular support not only of  national civil society groups, but also most communities across the Niger Delta and other oil-bearing communities. He said: “Broadly, we see some of the provisions of the PIB as a conflict resolution mechanism to the decades of violent conflicts, and the restoration of transparency and accountability in the petroleum sector in Nigeria to which the national assembly has been called upon to act quickly. “We state strongly that failure to pass the Bill will have political costs for sitting lawmakers.  So far, we would like to commend the efforts of the 7th National Assembly for their response to popular agitations for the complete overhaul of the PIB 2012 as it presents an opportunity to check corporate rule, total disregard of local livelihoods, and reckless degradation of the environment, violence, corruption and theft which have been the sad hallmarks of the Nigerian petroleum industry. “As groups in the vanguard of campaigns for environmental justice and democratic principles in all spheres of our national life, we are very much concerned with the outlook and ultimate outcome of the PIB which, when passed into law will have maximum impact on local livelihoods and the environment of Nigeria especially in the Niger Delta. “We believe that with the antecedent of the present National Assembly, in their staunch refusal to bow to corporate lobby and blackmail of law makers, Nigerians will ultimately get a law that they will be proud of. “A PIB that will enjoy our acceptability and support will be that which will, among others, strengthen Nigeria’s sovereignty by investing the ownership of the petroleum resources in the Nigerian nation rather than the Federal Government of Nigeria.”CSOs threaten to move against lawmakers

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