The House of Representatives has passed the Petroleum Industry Bill, allowing 5% trust fund for oil host communities.
The House went ahead approving the bill with the 5% trust fund for host oil communities after angry reactions from some stakeholders in the Niger Delta, including the pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) against the initial proposed 3%.
The Senate had earlier in the day, adopted the 3 per cent recommended by the conference or joint committee without any hindrance, except with the walk-out staged by former Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, in protest against the adoption.
Even the green chamber had to pend the approval the previous day after a rowdy session against the proposal.
The 318 clauses in the bill were passed in less than 20 minutes. At a point, the deputy speaker jumped from clause 189 to 200.
Section 240, subsection 2 of the bill that prescribes 2.5 percent equity for the host communities was amended to provide for 5 percent.
This comes 20 years after the bill was first introduced to the national assembly.
Since 2008, successive administrations and national assemblies have failed to pass the legislation. In 2018, the house of representatives passed a harmonized version, the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB) – almost a year after the Senate passed the bill.
While urging his colleagues to adopt the recommendation on the bill, the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee on PIB, Hon. Mohammed Mongunu said by passing the bill into law, the House would have written its name in gold.
Meanwhile, the Senate considered its report in the absence of the opposition lawmakers, who stepped out in protest against the 3% trust fund.