Petrobarometer

Reps pass Petroleum Industry Bill, approves 5% for host community trust fund

Author:
Samuel Akpan

The house of representatives has passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

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The development comes about 24 hours after the green chamber received the report on the bill.

The bill was passed on Thursday after Mohammed Monguno, chairman of the ad hoc committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), presented a report and the lawmakers voted on 319 clauses of the bill.

Before the clauses of the bill were considered, Monguno said by passing the bill, the ninth house would have succeeded in enacting important legislation.

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He said the bill seeks to bring governance issues in the oil and gas sector in tandem with the international best practices.

Monguno said the bill would make the oil and gas industry more transparent and competitive.

After the lawmakers approved the bill clauses, Femi Gbajabiamila commended his colleagues for their commitment in passing the bill.

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Unlike in the senate where a series of debates were taken on the bill before it was passed, the lower chamber witnessed no debate but only made amendment to section 240 (2) of the bill.

The section allocate 2.5 percent of the operational expenditure from the oil companies to host communities — but the lawmakers raised it to 5 percent.

The amended section reads: “Each settlor, where applicable through the operator, shall make an annual contribution to the applicable host community development trust fund of an amount equal to 5% of its actual annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream and in the midstream and downstream in respect of all petroleum operations affecting the host communities for which the applicable host community development trust fund was established.”

The PIB has been the subject of controversies for years because of vested interests by stakeholders in the oil sector.

Since 2008, successive administrations and national assemblies have failed to pass the legislation. In 2018, the house of representatives passed a harmonised version, the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB) – almost a year after the Senate passed the bill.

However, the PIGB was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari for “legal and constitutional reasons”.

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