House Of Reps Stop Passage Of Petroleum Industry Bill
After half an hour deliberating on the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill, the House of Representatives has stepped down the bill. It further added that further deliberation is expected to hold over the decision while the House is on recess. Earlier in the day, lawmakers from the South-South opposed the harmonised PIB allocation to host communities which was pegged at three per cent. The lawmakers were heard chanting “five per cent” as against the three pre cent at the floor of the House. Meanwhile, in the Senate, the three per cent allocation to host communities was adopted despite protests by the senators. The number in dispute is the percentage of the total operating expenses (OPEX) oil companies are expected to contribute to a trust fund created for host communities. Two southern senators George Sekibo and Seriake Dickson raised concerns over the approval. Senator Sekibo said he is not part of the vote on the allocation clause and Senator Dickson said his privilege had been breached as his views were not accommodated. However, Senate President Ahmad Lawan replied that the Senate had taken a resolution on the matter and could not go back on its decision. The host community allocation was one of the clauses left in consideration after the National Assembly passed the PIB earlier this month. The PIB is expected to transform Nigeria’s oil industry. The three percent is different from the 13 percent derivation fund which is paid to oil-producing communities from the federation account. Instead, the three percent allocation will come from an entity’s actual yearly operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. All contributions will be deposited in a trust fund for host communities. According to a draft of the PIB, the trust fund will enhance peace and cordial relationship between oil companies and host communities.