Nigeria Senate on Thursday passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) after the House of Representatives did the same.
The PIB passed the third reading after Mohammed Sabo, chairman of the joint committee petroleum (upstream and downstream) and gas, presented a report and its clauses were put to voice vote.
The bill has five parts, eight schedules, and 319 clauses.
While presenting the report on Thursday, Sabo said the legislation is aimed at “promoting transparency, good governance, and accountability in the oil and gas sector.”
The chairman said the committee recommended that 30 percent of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) profit from oil and gas should be used to fund exploration of frontier basins.
“The various obsolete laws currently in operation in the country have been updated and consolidated in this chapter to meet global competitiveness and best practices,” he said.
“A total of 355 amendments were recommended to this chapter while others were retained.”
During the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill in the committee, the percentage that should be allocated to the host communities caused a division among the senators.
At the public hearing on the bill, representatives of the host communities demanded that they be allocated 10 percent.
Although five percent was proposed, the joint committee recommended three percent after a meeting of the senators with Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, and Mele Kyari, NNPC group managing director.
After three percent was accepted as what is due to host communities, Thompson Sekibo, senator representing Rivers north-east, challenged the decision to cut down to 3%.
Senate leader Abdullahi Yahaya described it as a bad precedent and urged Sekibo to withdraw his motion.
A senator representing Delta south James Manager said five percent was not too much for the host communities.