Senate Passes Bill to Establish Bitumen Development Commission

The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill for a second reading that seeks the establishment of a Bitumen Development Commission.

This move aims to include Nigeria in the $147 billion global bitumen market.

National Assembly

The bill was sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (APC, Ondo South), who highlighted that Nigeria possesses 38 billion bitumen reserves.

According to the senator, Ondo State, in particular, has the highest bitumen deposit in Africa, valued at $42 billion.

Other states, such as Ogun, Edo, Lagos, and Akwa-Ibom, also have significant bitumen deposits.

He also stated that the bill’s objectives include developing a legal framework for regulating bitumen development in Nigeria, preventing unconventional sources from gaining an advantage over other competitors, and leading innovation and resource-based strategy in Nigeria’s bitumen development.

He further highlighted that the proposed Bitumen Development Commission aims to effectively utilise Nigeria’s vast bitumen reserves and promote the Federal Government’s economic diversification policy.

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The establishment of the commission, according to the senator, is also expected to fast-track bitumen development in Nigeria, making the country a key player in the $147 billion global market and creating an estimated 12,000 jobs.

The commission would also assist various levels of government in implementing asphalted roads in different communities.

“Out of the 200, 000 kilometres of roads in Nigeria, only 20, 000 are asphalted, even with imported bitumen, which is not good and being addressed with the proposed commission,” he stated.

The Senate bill received widespread support from the senators, leading to its passage for a second reading.#Senate