To diversify the nation’s economy, the Senate is taking significant steps toward promoting Bitumen Development as a catalyst for growth by establishing the Bitumen Development Commission.
Yesterday, the Senate introduced the Bitumen Development Commission Bill, 2023 (SB. 07), for its first reading, thanks to the sponsorship of Senator Jimoh Ibrahim from the APC representing Ondo South. The primary goal of this bill is to create an official regulatory body for Bitumen exploration, development, and exportation.
According to Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, the proposed legislation aims to harness Bitumen’s potential as an alternative revenue-generating product in Nigeria, considering it holds the second-largest deposit in the world after Canada.
The bill envisions the establishment of the Bitumen Development Commission in one of the three towns in Ondo State known for high Bitumen deposits, namely Ode – Irele, Agbabu, and Igbotako.
Once the Bitumen Development Commission is established, it will oversee Bitumen-related activities and play a crucial role in advancing road infrastructure across the country. Moreover, it is expected to create numerous job opportunities for Nigerians, particularly for skilled professionals like Geologists, who will be instrumental in the exploration process.
Senator Jimoh Ibrahim revealed that he would present more detailed insights into the proposed Commission during his lead debate for the second reading. He expressed his hopes that the bill would receive approval from the Senate and the House of Representatives and eventually get presidential permission, making it the pioneering law governing Bitumen exploration, development, and potential exportation in Nigeria.