The Nigerian Senate has approved $500 million as funding for oil-producing communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
This was disclosed by Senator Mohammed Sabo, the chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream.
According to him, the half a billion dollars would be from the three per cent approved funds for the Host Communities Trust Fund.
Sabo who disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday said; “As at today, what is going to the host communities is three per cent. And three per cent translates to over half a billion dollars annually. This is a lot of money.
“The bill came with two point five per cent recommendation and the committee recommended five per cent.
“There were series of consultations we have to look at 2.5 per cent and five per cent.
“You have to look at the quantum of money involved. After being briefed and further explanations, we discovered that 3 three per cent will adequately be in order in this circumstances.
“The law is not infinite. In two months, anybody can bring an amendment and we will look at it.
“We need to encourage investors to come in. The more people come to invest, the more you get three per cent,” he said.
While celebrating the passage of the bill by the senate, Sabo boasted; “Today, we also broke the jinx of over two decades. We have passed a bill that will be easily implementable, that will attract global competitiveness and will attract the much-desired investment in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria,”
Meanwhile, the lower chamber of the national assembly, the House of Representatives, has adopted the report on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for passage at the Committee of the Whole.
Following the adoption of the report, the bill will now be scheduled for third reading and final passage by the House.
Presenting the report, Chairman of House Committee on PIB, Rep. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno), said that the PIB had suffered lots of setbacks in the parliament since its introduction in 2000.
He said that the bill sought to address the very core aspect of the nation’s economy which largely depended on the oil and gas sector.
“The bill also seeks to unbundle the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) so that it will become NNPC limited and for it to be run commercially,” he said.