Nigerian geoscientists call for amendment of constitution, PIA

Port Harcourt—The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) has described the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as a positive step in the right direction of environmental responsibility and sustainability in Nigeria.

The society made this known in a communique issued at the end of its 57TH Annual International Conference and Exhibition tagged “Garden City 2022” which took place at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State from 13th-19th March 2022.

According to the society, there are observed loopholes in the PIA that need to be sealed up.

“For instance, the loose and permissiveness in some of the provisions which lack specific financial prescriptions, guarantees of adequacy, timeliness, and the exclusions of host communities.

“The aspect of divestment is not adequately taken care of in the PIA. Section 232; subsection 13, let off Operators that have divested their interest.

“Under this provision divesting Operator is freed of their obligations only for the new Operators to go into liquidation or bankruptcy within a short period of time,” the communique reads.

The communique recommended that the “Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) should be amended to set a clean bill of environmental health and community consultations as conditions for the granting of consents by the Minister of Petroleum to any divestment.

“The constitution should be amended to explicitly put environmental
responsibility on the concurrent legislative lists and thereby enable State legislators and State high courts to legislate and adjudicate respectively on the
environmental claims that are related to the industries.”

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