The Nigerian Senate, Thursday set machinery in motion for diversification of the nation’s economy through bitumen development. The required legislation for the move was done with first reading of a bill to that effect in Thursday’s plenary.

The bill sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (APC Ondo South), seeks for the establishment of Bitumen Development Commission for official regulation of bitumen exploration, development and exportation.

As sighted in the draft copy of the bill, the sponsor posited that intendment of the proposed legislation, is to make bitumen as alternative revenue spinning product in Nigeria being the second highest deposit in the world after Canada.

The proposed commission as projected in the draft bill, should be sited in any of the three towns with high deposit of bitumen in Ondo State which are Ode-Irele, Agbabu and Igbotako.

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As proposed in the bill, Bitumen Development Commission when established, would also facilitate execution of road infrastructure across the country and also create jobs for Nigerians, particularly geologists whose expertise would be needed in its exploration.

In a brief chat with journalists after plenary, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, said details of intendment of the proposed commission , would be made in his lead debate for second reading.

“If the proposed legislation scales through in both the Senate and the House of Representatives with attendant establishment of Bitumen Development Commission after presidential assent, it would be the first law on exploration, development and possibly exportation of bitumen in Nigeria “, he said.