Senate President, Ahmed Lawan

The Conference Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, on Thursday, adopted three percent of the actual annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream petroleum operations affecting the host communities for funding of the Host Communities Trust Fund.

The PIB, formally known as a Bill for an Act to Provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Communities, was passed by both houses of the National Assembly on Thursday, July 1.

There were however protests by southern lawmakers at the National Assembly. The southern lawmakers had demanded for five percent for host communities.

The number in dispute is the percentage of their total operating expenses (OPEX) oil companies are expected to contribute to a trust fund created for host communities.

Two southern senators George Sekibo and Seriake Dickson raised concerns over the approval.

Senator Sekibo said he is 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.