Uduaghan Lists Benefits Of Petroleum Industry Bill

DElta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has pleaded with the National Assembly to accelerate hearing and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as the future of the Industry and, indeed, the country depends on it.

Gov. Uduaghan, who made the appeal when the National President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba yesterday, said the passage of the PIB bill would help sanitize the petroleum industry and enhance the development of the oil producing areas.

He explained that the Delta State Government believes in the bill and supports its passage to help solve the developmental issues in the Niger Delta and ensure lasting peace in the region.

“For us in Delta State, we believe that there must be sanity in the petroleum industry. We have resolved that once the details of the bill are made public, we will look at it and ensure its implementation”, he said.

Governor Uduaghan frowned at the failure of some organisations to remit taxes deducted from workers’ salaries under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system to the government and explained that the state government would not impose taxes on any worker, which will be more than what is stipulated in the existing tax regime.

He charged workers to ensure that taxes deducted from their salaries are remitted by employers and management to the coffers of the state government, adding that the state government has directed the State Board of Internal Revenue to issue receipts and tax clearance certificates to persons whose taxes have been remitted to government coffers.

“I have told the Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Board that tax receipts should be issued to all workers that pay tax in the state.”

The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to protection of workers in the state in order to continuously maintain its labour-friendly posture and ensure a  conducive working environment in the state.

In his address, the National President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, promised that his Union would continue to partner with the state government because of the labour-friendly environment existing in the state. He commended the governor for ensuring that the state is free of labour crisis, adding that his administration has done much in developing the state.

“I thank the governor for the good working relationship between government, PENGASSAN and its sister unions in the state, which is why we have fewer disruptions in labour relations in the state. I want to say that you should continue with your good work and leave a legacy behind.”

He appealed to the governor and his counterparts in the Niger Delta to help the union canvass for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and its implementation to enhance transparency in governance, for the development of the region.

“We surely believe that the governors of the South South region should look into the PIB Bill. This will help us in the petroleum industry and also ensure the development of the region”, he said, adding that it needs the governor’s support to stamp out contract staff, which he explained is against the union’s stance.