Senate Introduces Bill to Establish Bitumen Development Commission for Economic Diversification
The Nigerian Senate has taken a step towards diversifying the nation’s economy by focusing on Bitumen Development as a catalyst for development. Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, representing Ondo South, introduced the Bitumen Development Commission Bill, 2023 (SB. 07), which aims to create an official regulatory body for Bitumen exploration, development, and exportation.
The bill highlights the potential of Bitumen as an alternative revenue-generating product in Nigeria, as it holds the second-highest deposit of Bitumen in the world after Canada. Establishing the proposed Bitumen Development Commission is expected to boost the country’s economy and create employment opportunities, particularly for geologists who will be essential in exploring the resource.
According to the draft bill, the proposed commission will be located in one of the three towns with significant Bitumen deposits in Ondo State: Ode-Irele, Agbabu, or Igbotako. In addition to regulating Bitumen activities, the commission will also play a role in the execution of road infrastructure projects across the country.
Senator Jimoh Ibrahim expressed his optimism about the potential impact of the proposed legislation. If the bill passes in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and receives presidential assent, it will become the first law in Nigeria governing the exploration, development, and possible exportation of Bitumen. This move represents a significant step towards economic diversification and harnessing the potential of Bitumen resources for national development.