Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo has emphasized state governments’ role in downplaying the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which implementation is expected to commence this month.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo stated this when he received a fifteen-member delegation from Bayelsa Amazons Advocacy Campaign Group (BAACG) in Government House, Yenagoa.
Lamenting that governments in the oil and gas producing states in Niger Delta region has been reduced to observers, the Deputy Governor noted that there are many lacunas in the PIA which clearly put oil-bearing areas in disadvantage.
According to him, shortcomings in the Act as passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammed Buhari has denied state governments to participate in the implementation of the PIA.
Responding to some requests made by BAACG, Senator Ewhrudjakpo assured them that government will set up a committee to monitor the implementation of PIA in the state.
Calling on the group to articulate their agenda for gender equity, he promised that the interest of women in Bayelsa would be protected in line with the provisions of the PIA.
In a remark, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Empowerment, Mrs. Faith Opene said the agenda championed by the women group was aimed at achieving thirty percent representation in the PIA implementation.
Speaking on behalf of Bayelsa Amazons Advocacy Campaign Group, (BAACG), Comrade Princess Egbe, appealed to government to include women in the Board of Trustees and Management Committees.
Comrade Egbe, who is the convener of the advocacy group, also urged that capital funds be equitably distributed without any form of discrimination against women in the various oil-producing areas.