Host communities interest puts Nigeria Petroleum Industry Bill to rest
Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu
Minister of State for Petroleum
The review of the much talked about Nigeria Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) now christened Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the 8th Assembly of Nigeria Senate has been suspended indefinitely for further consideration by the order of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. According to the Senate President this new step is as a result of massive protest from senators from host communities that the removal of host communities Fund from the new bill was not done in good faith and should be reinstated before any further reading or consideration of the bill should be entertained.
While senators from the northern part of the country vehemently opposed the inclusion of the 10% host community funds in the bill, their counterparts from the southern extractions sees the inclusion as the only way forward if equity and fairness to host communities where oil is exploited is to be enacted.
While speaking recently at a Town-Hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said that President Muhammad Buhari has not allocated oil blocs to any individual or group since he came to power. He buttressed that when the time for allocation of new blocs comes that the government will give preference to people from the South - south region as a way of giving back to the chicken that laid the eggs.
The much talked about Nigeria Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which both the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and National Assembly touted that will be passed soon has once again lost its appeal.
Nigeria PIB for many years has become a child of political circumstances and arm-twisting. The current economic situation in Nigeria amid an unstable oil market may not give the federal government big muscle to carry out further negotiations that would highly favor the country. The impact of the PIB to enhance Local content policy and economic development in the country has suffered another devastating blow.
Nigerian masses have been made to believe that the PIB will usher in their messianic expectation for economic salvation.
With the growing agitation in the Niger Delta region and frictions among National Assembly the petroleum industry bill may not be passed into law by the end of this year.