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PIB Passage: Host Communities To Receive $500m Annually As Age-long Jix Broken

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Host communities will receive half a billion dollars annually, as funding from the three per cent approved for Host Communities Trust Fund in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Senate has said.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Sen. Mohammed Sabo said this when he briefed newsmen on Thursday shortly after the senate passed the PIB.

Also speaking on the passage of the PIB bill,   Sen. Babajide Omowarare,  Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said the passage of the Bill  by the Senate on Thursday is breaking of an age-long Jinx.

Omoware added that efforts by the Executive and Legislature in Nigeria to put in place contemporary legislative and legal framework in the oil and gas sector had proved abortive since the year 2000.

“Breaking this jinx and achieving this feat is a testament that the executive and the legislature can really work together and truly engage each other, without compromising party position and individual perspective in the most positive manner.

“I will like to thank the entire leadership and members of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

“Also, the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, for their focused and tenacious attitude to achieving this milestone,” he said.

Further,  Sen. Mohammed Sabo explained that although the committee initially recommended five per cent to the host communities, but after consultations, discovered that three per cent would adequately take care of the communities.

“As at today, what is going to the host communities is three per cent. And three per cent translates to over half a billion dollars annually. This is a lot of money.

“The bill came with a two point five per cent recommendation and the committee recommended five per cent.

“There were a series of consultations, we had to look at 2.5  per cent  and  five per cent.

“You have to look at the quantum of money involved. After being briefed and further explanations, we discovered that 3 three per cent will adequately be in order in this circumstances.

“The law is not infinite. In two months, anybody can bring an amendment and we will look at it.

“We need to encourage investors to come in. The more people come to invest, the more you get three per cent,” he said.

Sabo who is also Chairman,  Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) Petroleum (Upstream) and Gas further said  the bill was geared toward attracting more investments to the country.

“Some decades ago,  we find it is only in Nigeria that we have oil but now we have it in Ghana, Togo and Chad.

“So if you don’t provide the incentives for investors to come in, they will go to other places and that is what has been happening.

“So our attempt in the PIB is to capture all these areas and to synergise and  provide incentives for investors to come in,” he said.


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