Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has said that the state should be among states to benefit more from the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) because of the peaceful disposition of its oil producing communities. Ikpeazu said this while receiving in audience a delegation of the National Assembly Joint Ad hoc Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill at Government House, Umuahia. According to him, Abia had the record of being the most peaceful Oil Producing State as oil producing communities in the state had not had any face-off with oil companies operating in the state.
The governor said that it was unfortunate that despite cooperation being shown by Abia host communities to oil companies, the state had little or nothing in return as the oil producing communities were highly neglected. Ikpeazu, however, bemoaned oil companies which were business in the state did not pay tax in Abia but rather resided in neighbouring state from where they came to Abia with the help of heavily armed security guards for their business.
The Abia governor commended the committee for the initiative to talk to Nigerians on the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill, noting that trust is the major problem we have in Nigeria. He admitted that there was the need to talk to the people, pointing out that many Nigerians did not believe the government. Ikpeazu stressed the need for the government to encourage the people to believe in it more, adding that by so doing, Nigerians would feel carried along which would eventually help assuage fray nerves.