The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, has faulted the debate over the Petroleum Industry Bill allocation for oil-producing states.
Governor Sule said beyond figures or percentages, what matters more is the wellbeing of the states involved. “You have to look at the totality of what goes to the communities,” he said.
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“Is it just the three per cent that is going to them. People have forgotten about the 13% derivation that goes to the states. So even if you give the three per cent or five per cent is it changing the communities or is it going to some private pockets,” he asked.
Speaking further, Governor Sule said: “really, I care less about whether it is three per cent or five per cent. The most important thing is, let us go and take a look at what is happening in the Niger Delta. Even if we give them five per cent, is that the end of the crisis there? It is deeper than that.”The host community allocation was a subject of heated debate last week as both chambers of the National Assembly struggled to decide between three and five per cent. The allocation was one of the clauses left in consideration after the National Assembly had passed the PIB earlier this month.
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If cleared, it is expected to transform the nation’s oil industry. The three per cent is different from the 13% 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 relationship between oil companies and host communities.
While the Senate on Thursday adopted the three per cent allocation despite protests by southern lawmakers, the House of Representatives, on the other hand, stepped down the controversial Bill after an hour-long closed-door session.
Photo Credit: Getty