ABUJA – The 9th Senate, Thursday, passed the much awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with the approval of 3% allocation to host communities.

The 9th Assembly has broken a jinx that seemed difficult since 2008.
The petroleum industry bill that had become the albatross of successive dispensation has now been passed as a bill.

The Bill with the title: 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, 2021,

The delay in the passage of the bill has been a major drawback in the development of the Oil and Gas industry over the significantly limiting its ability to attract investments in the oil sector.

During a clauce by clause consideration of the Bill, there was still unease over the contentious clause regarding profit sharing for the host communities.

The annual Contribution of 3 percent operating cost by oil companies to the Host Community Development Trust Fund cited in the committee’s report triggered a rowdy session.

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Lawmakers from the South-South, agreed that the fund for host communities should be raised from 2.5 percent to 5 per cent, A request that was immediately turned down by other lawmakers forcing the Senate President to follow the majority vote of 3% allocation to host communities.

When the Bill is accented to by Mr. President’s and becomes law,, it will strengthen accountability and transparency in the activities of the NNPC, as well as attract capital investment inflows to the sector.

Thirty percent profit accruing from the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation was also earmarked for the search and exploration of crude oil in the northern part of the country.

In his remark the Senate President, said that, “finally, the Jinx is broken and what is left is a presidential approval and signature that will ensure this bill becomes law and enhances competitiveness in Business and hopefully improve the productivity of the oil and gas sector in the country.

He also thanked all Nigerians for their patience and support to ensuring the smooth passage of the Bill.

You may recall that, previous attempts at passing the PIB in 2009, 2012 and 2018 failed because of factors such as lack of ownership, misalignment of interests between the National Assembly and the Executive, perceived erosion of ministerial powers, stiff opposition by the petroleum host communities and push back by investors on the perceived uncompetitive provisions in those versions of the bill.