Some Civil Society and Community-based Organisations have urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill into law as passed by the National Assembly.

In a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, the CSOs, which are based mainly in the Niger Delta, said there were inherent gaps and dangers in the moves to sign the PIGB into law as it was fraught with defects in the areas of environmental protection.

The groups pointed out that the deliberate silence of the bill on the outlawing of gas flaring with a definite date was not only ominous and a major setback for the environment, but also a big blow to the people of the Niger Delta, who had been subjected to gas intoxication through gas flaring for decades.

The CSOs stated that they had hoped that the lawmakers would have used the opportunity created by the petroleum legal regimes review to put an end to decades of the deplorable practice of gas flaring that had put Nigeria in the hall of environmental shame by enacting clear-cut provisions for its criminalisation.

They regretted that the failure of the National Assembly to do this effectively reinforced the Niger Delta region’s feeling of oppression and state injustice, saying that such acts by state institutions as the National Assembly and the consequent sentiments would ultimately make peace and security elusive in the region.

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