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PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ACT: Host communities present critical areas to senate for amendment

2 min read

As the Senate prepares to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) has tabled areas affecting the communities in the Act, which they want amended.

They also expressed concern over their exclusion from the scheme of things after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law.

Senate had, on Wednesday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to transmit a bill to the National Assembly to amend the PIA, arguing that petroleum subsidy was not factored in the 2022 budget after June.

ALSO READ: GbaramatuVoice to host Niger Delta Economic Discourse Series on PIA

The amendment will extend the provision of fuel subsidy, which is also requested in the amendment of the 2022 Appropriation Act.

HOSTCOM listed the grey areas in a memorandum it submitted at the public hearing on the 2021 PIA (Amendment) Bill by the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry.

The memorandum presented by the National President of HOSTCOM, Dr. Benjamin Tamaranebi, indicated that his members were not carried along in the inauguration of the steering committee as well as appointment of the various governing boards of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority.

Tamaranebi indicated that no attention was directed towards the issues affecting the host communities in the appointments, as they bemoaned the isolation the host communities, which are supposed to be first in the order of hydrocarbon investment, as the first critical stakeholder.

“We recommend that Section 11(2) be amended to read, ‘The Board of the Commission shall consist of one non-executive chairman, two non-executive commissioners, the chief executive officer of the commission (in this Act referred to as ‘the Commission chief executive’). Also, (there should be) two other executive commissioners, who are responsible for finance and accounts and exploration and acreage management and one representative of the authority not below the rank of director.

“Section 28(2) should be amended to read, ‘The commission shall indemnify the commission’s chief executive, commissioners or any officer of the commission for any liability incurred as a result of wilful misconduct or gross negligence,” among others.

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