Reps Okay PIB Amidst Agitations From South-South

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The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), on Tuesday scaled the third reading stage on floor of the House of Representatives, even as agitations persist by the 17 Southern Governors and South-South region for the reversal of 30% share for exploration of frontier basins, as well as the three percent and five percent host community fund as respectively approved by the Senate and the house.

The House had last week considered and adopted the 318-clause report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the bill, headed by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno.

The house approved 30% of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) profit share for exploration of frontier basins; such as Lake Chad, Benue trough, Anambra, Dahomey (Lagos) and Gombe Basins.

However, these figures have been rejected, particularly by the oil producing South South region which demanded that 10% equity participation be paid into the Host Communities Trust Fund for the development of the Niger Delta region.

A leader of the region, Edwin Clark had in a letter addressed to both the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, accused northern lawmakers of conspiring with International Oil Companies (IOCs) to pass an unjust piece of legislation that denies the Niger Deltans of their God-given resources.

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Clark in letter described the 3% as satanic and an obnoxious, given that it was too paltry to mitigate the sufferings the host communities are going through. “The people of the Niger Delta, at all levels both at home and abroad, have expressed their great displeasure over the satanic and obnoxious allocation of a paltry percentage of Operating Expenditure to Oil Producing Communities by the National Assembly.

“It is important to state clearly here to all well-meaning Nigerians that the demand of the oil-bearing communities of the Niger Delta region was for a minimum of 10% equity participation”, the letter read in part.

Similarly, the 17 Southern Governors after a meeting on Monday, rejected the proposed 30% share of NNPC profit for frontier exploration and the proposed 3% share of the oil revenue to the host communities.

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