By Babajide Okeowo
Loud opposition by two southern senators George Sekibo and Seriake Dickson into the harmonised Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB allocation to host communities which was pegged at three per cent played a huge part into why the House of Representatives stepped down the controversial PIB, The Matrix has gathered.
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.
Based on these dissenting positions, the House of Representatives stepped down the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill after an hour-long closed-door session.
Further deliberation is expected to hold over the decision while the House is in recess.
The lawmakers were heard chanting “five per cent” as against the three pre cent at the floor of the House.
The number in dispute is the percentage of the total operating expenses (OPEX) oil companies are expected to contribute to a trust fund created for host communities.
The host community allocation was one of the clauses left in consideration after the National Assembly passed the PIB earlier this month.
The three per cent is different from the 13 percent derivation fund which is paid to oil-producing communities from the federation account.
Instead, the three percent 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 relationships between oil companies and host communities.