Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
The Senate commenced consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill on Monday with the Women in Energy Network rejecting the 2.5 per cent the host communities are demanding from the investors in the oil and gas sector as annual levies.
The host communities started their demand when they asked for 10 per cent net profit in PIB 2012.
They reduced it to five per cent of actual expenditure in 2018 before they further cut it to the 2.5 per cent of actual operating expenditure in the PIB 2020.
Fresh consideration of the bill resumed on Monday at the opening of a two-day public hearing jointly organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Sector (Downstream); Petroleum Resources (Upstream); and Gas.
The proposed law is titled “A Bill for an Act to Provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Communities and for Related Matters, 2020.”
The President of the National Executive of the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, Chief Benjamin Tamaranebi, had proposed a 2.5 per cent annual payment by the oil firms into the group’s account.
Tamaranebi, while presenting the memorandum of his group at the forum said, “Each settler (oil firm), where applicable through the operator, shall make an annual contribution to the applicable host community development trust fund, of an amount equal to 2.5 per cent of its annual operating expenditure.”
He noted that the funding for the host communities trust fund had been fluctuating from 10 per cent net profit in PIB 2012 to five per cent of actual expenditure 2018 before it has been finally reduced to the 2.5 per cent of actual operating expenditure in the PIB 2020 now being considered.
He said the funds generated from the annual levies would be used to finance and execute projects for the benefit and sustainable development of the host communities.
Tamaranebi added that provision of massive infrastructure in the host communities would encourage oil firms to relocate to their catchment areas of operations in conformity with the Nigerian Industry Oil and Gas Content Development Act.