SCANDAL: How Sylva Bribed NASS Members With $10,000 Each To Overturn PIB

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A sum of Ten Thousand United States Dollars bribe paid to each member of the National Assembly by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva was all it took to break the 13 years legislative jinx of passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), pointblanknews.com has gathered.

The controversial Petroleum Industry Bill was first sent to the National Assembly in 2008 by President Umaru Yar’Adua, now deceased, without translating into an Act.

Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Upstream/Downstream and Gas, Senator Sabo Nakudu, had earlier while presenting its committee’s report before the Senate went into a closed-door session with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari.

The bill had proposed five per cent of the annual profit share of the oil companies for the host communities.

Shortly after the Senate resumed plenary after its executive session with Sylva and Kyari, Lawan commenced the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

By the time he got to clause 240, which made provision for five per cent trust fund for host communities, the plenary became rowdy.

Explaining why the five per cent was reduced to three per cent shortly after the plenary, Nakudu said the earlier percentage, which was 2.5 was increased to five per cent.

He added that it was reduced after Kyari explained that five per cent is a huge amount of money.

According to him, the three per cent amounts to half a billion dollars, adding that enabling environment needs to be created to attract investors as fossil oil is fast going out of fashion.

Majority of senators later voted for three per cent contribution to the host communities, following a motion by Senator Ahmad Kaita, seconded by Senator Ibrahim Gobir, for an amendment to clause 240(2) of the bill.

TrackNews Online investigation has revealed that Sylva and Kyari played the ball as suggested by the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly so as to lobby the lawmakers and to circumvent the processes needed for the passage.

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According to the source, “while every members of the House of Representatives and the Senate received $10,000 each, the Committee on Petroleum Upstream/Downstream and Gas members as well as the NASS leadership were rewarded with between $13,000 and $15,000 each.”

While Senator Bassey Albert Akpan coordinated the sharing among the senators, Hon. Victor Nwaokolo coordinated the business at the lower House.

Another source who denounced the outcome of the exercise wondered why Sylva would supervise the shortchanging of his South South zone by bribing lawmakers to vote for the reduction of the entitlement for the oil producing zone from 5 percent to 3 percent.

“It is clear that the Minister is working for the North against the interest of the Niger Delta region. He has sold out. Even the Southern Senators’ efforts to get more for the oil producing people were effectively blocked by Sylva and the Senate President. If he had insisted on the 5 percent as agreed by the House of Representatives, the uproar in the Niger Delta region wouldn’t be this much.”

Recall that efforts by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Senators James Manager and George Sekibo for an upward review were rejected.

Sekibo, in a move to sustain his agitation for an increase in contributions to host communities, relied on Order 73 of the Senate Rule and called for a division.

But the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, prevailed on him to withdraw his call for division and reminded him of the commitment of senators to fostering unity while keeping in mind their obligation at all times to protect the national interest.

Lawan also told Sekibo of the overwhelming support of the lawmakers who had earlier approved that host communities should receive remediation and relief from monies accruing from gas flaring in the PIB

 

 

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