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Monday, May 16, 2022

Senate, House Reps move to harmonise differences in PIB, set up two committees

The Senate and House of Representatives have constituted two committees to fine-tune the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for presidential assent.

The two chambers of the National Assembly last Thursday passed the long-awaited PIB but differed on the percentage of yearly expenditure of oil revenue to be devoted to the development of oil-bearing communities. While the Senate approved three percent, the House okayed five percent.

They are in agreement on the 30 percent of oil and gas profits of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited be set aside for exploration in the Lake Chad Basin, Benue trough, Anambra Basin, Dahomey, and Gombe basin.

The  percentage allocation to the oil host communities and the 30 percent  oil and gas profits for exploration have since the PIB passage drawn the ire of Niger Delta stakeholders, including governors of the 17 Southern states and  PANDEF Leader Chief Edwin Clark.

The  Southern governors had their Lagos meeting on Monday  also kicked against  the ownership structure of the proposed NNPC Limited and for its supervision to be handled by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

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On Tuesday, the leaderships of the National Assembly explained that the two committees would meet to harmonise their different positions on the PIB.

The  Senate   committee   is headed by  Leader Yahaya Abdullahi, while that of the House is led by Chief Whip Mohammed  Mongunu.

Mohammed Sabo (Northwest);  Albert Bassey Akpan (Southsouth); Danjuma Goje (Northeast); Opeyemi Bamidele (Southwest), Stella Oduah  (Southeast), and Gabriel Suswam Northcentral are the other members of the Senate committee.

The other members of the House committee are. Victor Nwokolo, Ademorin Kuye,  Kingley Uju,  Tijjani Yusuf, Ibahim Hamza and. Mansur Soro.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan charged members to immediately swing into action so that “ we will transmit for the final document  for  presidential assent.”

“We expect our delegation here under the leadership of the Senate Leader to engage with our colleagues in the House of Representatives..”

Chairman of the House committee  Mongunu told reporters they would defend their position on five percent.

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