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PIB: Host Communities Say Bill not Reflecting Yearnings of Niger Delta

Twelve years after the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is yet to see the light of the day, stakeholders including community leaders in the Niger Delta discovering the bill in circulation does not address the yearnings of host communities. They said the host communities can never be part of the document because it will trigger more aggression in the region since they were not involved in the process.

They were of the views that the shortcoming as it affects impacted communities was not taken into consideration. Thus, host communities are thinking of their inputs to ensure interests of its people are protected.

Therefore, they should be given the right for legal and regulatory inputs so that resources generated from oil and gas will be beneficial to the people. They opined that the bill was silent on the impact and sufferings of the host communities most of whom bear the brunt from oil exploration activities.

PIB and the omnibus law are meant to regulate the entire sphere of the industry and repel current existing oil and gas legislation which is one of the oldest bills in use and it is the belief of Niger Deltans that their interest will be protected.

However, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the PIB is at the verge of being passed into law. The Minister disclosed this while responding to questions from journalists that the PIB is expected to provide a framework that will boost oil and gas supply by enhancing sector achievement for international investors through Foreign Direct Investment (FID).

In his words, “we are in the process of passing the PIB while the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) will be brought under one umbrella, this is what we call the authority and they will be helping to police the pump price of petrol so that nobody will profiteer on Nigerians.”

The bill is also expected to clear gray areas in the industry that has brought uncertainty due to Covid-19 pandemic with regards to crude oil prices.