UPDATE: Senate, Reps passed PIB amidst protest from Niger Delta lawmakers
The National Assembly on Thursday passed the much awaited Petroleum Industry Bill amidst protestations from lawmakers representing the oil rich Niger Delta, Peoples Gazette can report.
The South-South lawmakers had called for the upward review of Equity Share Holding from oil companies to five per cent but the Senate ignored their demands and approved three per cent to the Trust Fund for the host communities.
Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno), chairman of the ad hoc committee on PIB presented a report after the bill passed the third reading.
Lawmakers voted on 319 clauses, The Gazette learnt.
Mr Monguno said the bill would make the oil and gas industry more transparent and competitive, and ensuring governance issues in the sector are in tandem with international best practices.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan mocked lawmakers against the bill, saying “the demons have been defeated in this chamber.
We have passed the bill.”
Mr lawan however congratulated lawmakers, noting the ninth national assembly has achieved one of its fundamental legislative agendas.
Earlier, House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila assured Nigerians that the bill will be passed before the house proceeds on recess in July.
In March, the South-South governors in a meeting in Port Harcourt expressed displeasure over the 2.5 per cent in the PIB, describing it as “inadequate”.
The Governors are demanding 10 per cent.
The Gazette learnt that with the passage of the PIB, oil companies are to pay host communities three per cent of its profit. Host communities have since kicked against the provision of the bill, demanding for 10 per cent.
In January, there was an uproar at the venue of the public hearing on the PIB. Fight broke out of Room 028 of the House of Representatives in the National Assembly when the moderating Adhoc Chairman of PIB, Mr Monguno called host communities to make their presentation.
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