PIB: Host communities disagree with minister, demand 10% share

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said that more private and public sector collaboration will be encouraged as Nigeria steps up effort to realise its target of boosting domestic gas utilisation.

The National President of the Host Community of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, Benjamin Tamaranebi, on Sunday insisted that the 2.5 per cent, proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill, being supported by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, was not acceptable.

The public hearing on the PIB ended at both chambers of the National Assembly last week with the Federal Government and the leadership of the host communities unable to agree on the percentage of operational cost that oil firms would pay them on annual basis.

The Federal Government had proposed a 2.5 per cent as operational cost payable to Host communities of oil and gas by the oil prospecting firms.

However, leaders from the various oil communities who attended the public hearing rejected the proposal and insisted on the 10 per cent equity participation as share holding.

Tamaranebi told journalists in Abuja on Sunday that the 2.5 per cent “cannot be acceptable, no matter the grammar or semantics they want to use in driving it.”

He said, “As far as the PIB is concerned; for it to see the light of the day in a way that it will guarantee safety for the operational companies in all the affected communities and give the communities themselves equity participation and the required sense of belonging, the 10 per cent equity share must be honoured.

“The Minister of State for Petroleum, should tell his 2.5 per cent operational cost to the Marines as people of the affected communities are not beggars begging for peanuts or grants from anybody.”

He added that the peace being enjoyed in the nine oil producing state was because of hope of fairness and equity that they saw in PIB which the Federal Government wanted to dash with the host communities percentage offer.

Tamaranebi said, “The world is transisting from fossil oil (Petroleum) to gas, indicating a new world order requiring favourable working environment for all stakeholders which entire leaders of the host communities are ready to guarantee if the needful is done by government as well,” said.

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