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    Buhari signs Petroleum Industry Bill into law

    The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has signed the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law.

    Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made this known in a statement on Monday, titled, ‘President Buhari Signs Petroleum Industry Bill Into Law’.

    The presidential spokesman said his principal signed the controversial bill into law while working from quarantine.

    Adesina said, “Working from home in five days quarantine as required by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 after returning from London on Friday, August 13, the President assented to the Bill Monday, August 16, in his determination to fulfil his constitutional duty.

    “The ceremonial part of the new legislation will be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled.

    “The Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.

    “The Senate had passed the Bill on July 15, 2021, while the House of Representatives did same on July 16, thus ending a long wait since early 2000s, and notching another high for the Buhari administration.”

    The recently assented PIB had been heavily criticised by stakeholders in Southern Nigeria with the Pan-Niger Delta Forum and other groups in the South-South, South-West and South-East describing its provisions as “unjust, satanic and provocative”.

    The bill, which, has now been passed into law by the President, will regulate the oil sector.

    The PUNCH had earlier reported that Southern governors last month in Lagos rejected the proposed allocation of at least 30 per cent of the profit generated by the proposed Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for the exploration of oil in ‘frontier basins’ as identified by Section 9 of the PIB.

    The 17 governors, in a communiqué signed by the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, at end of their July meeting in Lagos, said, “The Forum rejects the proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives;

    “The forum also rejects the proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.

    “The forum rejects the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited. The Forum disagrees that the company be vested in the Federal Ministry of Finance but should be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority since all tiers of Government have stakes in that vehicle.”

    The frontier basins include: Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin, Benue Trough, amongst others.

    Currently, crude oil is obtained from eight states in the Niger Delta region which include: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers States.

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