GOVERNORS of the South-West geo-political zone of the country met with Senators and members of the House of Representatives from the Zone, Tuesday night, over the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, and other matters germane to the region.

At the meeting, the governors and lawmakers resolved that both chambers must approve 5% 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 in the new PIB.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, and the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu(SAN), did not mention the issue of PIB while briefing journalists at the end of the meeting.

However, a source at the meeting told Vanguard that at the meeting the governors and the lawmakers agreed to throw their weights behind the members of House of Representatives on 5% for host communities.

Recall that the two chambers of the National Assembly, last week Thursday, passed the PIB, after about 13 years of legislative fireworks where the Senate approved 3% and House of Representatives chose 5% of Operating Expenditure granted to the host communities and 30% provision for the Frontier Exploration Fund.

The original bill brought to the Senate by the Executive was 2.5% for funding of the Host Communities Trust Fund, but the Committee moved it to 5%, while the Senate at the end of the day approved 3%.

The bill was first sent to the National Assembly in 2008 by President Umaru Yar’Adua, now deceased, without translating it into an Act.

The PIB 2020 seeks to introduce far-reaching reforms in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Briefing journalists Tuesday night in Abuja after the meeting, Akeredolu who was flanked by governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Lagos, Ogun and Osun, said that the Zone will come up with a common position on the constitution review that is currently being carried out by the National Assembly.

According to him, a committee made up of chairmen of caucuses of both the upper and lower chambers and Attorney-Generals of the state to that harmonise and come up with a position and that will have a serious impact.

Vanguard Newspaper

South-West Governors, Senators, Insist On 5% For Host Communities


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