The House of Representatives at the plenary session on Thursday began its clause by clause consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). In the session that presided by the deputy speaker Emeka Ihedioha was able to consider about 118 clauses of the 302 clauses in the PIB.
The deliberation which lasted about three hours considered the clause which relates to the benefits to the communities. The house concluded that the fund for the host communities by the oil exploration companies which was originally fixed at10 per cent was reduced to 7.5 per cent. The fund as stated by the petroleum industry bill was to enable the communities take care of the negative impact of the activities of the oil exploration companies. The fund will give the oil bearing communities the responsibility of maintaining the assets of the oil companies.
According to Isiaka Bawa, the ten per cent tax by the communities will only serve as a disincentive to the oil companies who now have alternatives in other African countries. Bawa says all over Africa, there are investors and we must consider the implications on future investment in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, The deferred further consideration of the bill to another adjourned date.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
-Ex VP Atiku Abubakar on Restructuring.
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