The 10th Senate on Thursday acknowledged a motion seeking to establish the Bitumen Development Commission.
The motion, which was sponsored by Senator Jimoh Folorunsho Ibrahim, representing Ondo South Senatorial District, seeks to establish the Bitumen Development Commission to “regulate activities of exploration, development and exportation for purposes of generating revenue for the country.”
The motion emphasised the need for the diversification of the nation’s economy, stating that the country is well endowed in bitumen, that required robust legislation that would turn the sector to the advantage of Nigeria.
The draft of the motion, which has already been laid during the plenary, which was sighted by DAILY POST, explained how bitumen could be an alternative source of revenue for the nation.
Part of the clause asserted: “That the intention of the proposed legislation is to make Bitumen an alternative revenue spinning product in Nigeria, being the second highest deposit in the world after Canada.
“The proposed commission, as projected in the draft bill, should be sited in any of the three towns with high deposits of bitumen in Ondo State, which are Ode-Irele, Agbabu and Igbotako.”
According to the draft bill, the Bitumen Development Commission, when fully established as an agency of the government, will facilitate the execution of road infrastructure across the country and also create jobs for Nigerians, particularly geologists whose expertise would be needed in its exploration.”
Speaking on the proposed bill after plenary in his office, the lawmaker explained further that details of the bill will be laid bare during the second reading when it is called up, while he expressed the belief that the proposed bill would enjoy the support of his colleagues and will receive the presidential assent
“If the proposed legislation passes in both the Senate and the House of Representatives with attendant establishment of the Bitumen Development Commission after presidential assent, it would be the first law on exploration, development and possibly exportation of bitumen in Nigeria,” he said.