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PIB: Senate okays 3% allocation to host communities amidst protest by South-South lawmakers

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THE Nigerian Senate has adopted the three per cent allocated to host communities in the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) amidst protest by lawmakers from the South-South region.

The southern lawmakers led by George Sekibo and Seriake Dickson, representing Rivers and Bayelsa states respectively, had urged the chamber to peg the fund to five per cent for host communities.

Sekibo said he was not part of the vote on the allocation clause and Senator Dickson said his privilege had been breached as his views were not accommodated.

However, Senate President Ahmad Lawan replied that the Senate had taken a resolution on the matter and could not go back on its decision.

The host community allocation was one of the clauses left in consideration after the National Assembly passed the PIB earlier this month.

The PIB is expected to transform Nigeria’s oil industry.

The three per cent is different from the 13 per cent derivation fund  paid to oil-producing communities from the federation account.

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Instead, the three per cent allocation will come from an entity’s actual yearly operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.

All contributions will be deposited in a trust fund for host communities.

According to a draft of the PIB, the trust fund will enhance peace and cordial relationship between oil companies and host communities.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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