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PIB: 17 Southern governors back Edwin Clark, reject 30 per cent allocated for oil exploration in the North

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“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”

Sequel to the rejection of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the ljaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, 17 governors of the Southern states have also distanced themselves from the 30 per cent allocated in the bill for oil exploration in the Northern part of the country through the frontier basins.

According to the bill awaiting harmonization by the two chambers of the National Assembly, the 30 per cent from the profit generated by the proposed Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited will be allocated for exploration in the frontier basins in the North.

Whereas, the three and five per cent of the profit made by the oil companies were approved by the Senate and House of Representatives for the host communities.

In a communique after their one-day meeting in Lagos on Monday, the governors said:“The Forum rejects the proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host communities 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.”

Persecondnews had reported that Clark had also on said the National Assembly had dashed the hope of the people of the Niger Delta.

“The provision that allocated a huge 30% of profits for further frontier oil exploration in the North was a source of concern, especially in a fast changing world of investment shifts away from fossil oil,” the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) leader, said, describing it as a satanic, unjust, embarrassing piece of legislation.

The “Frontier Basins” is contained in Section 9 of the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill which will regulate the oil sector in the country if eventually signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The passed PIB identified “Frontier Basins to include Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin and Benue Trough in the Northern part of the country.

In attendance were the governors of Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Lagos, Ekiti, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Abia, Uyo, among others while four states were represented by Deputy Governors.

The governors, however, commended the National Assembly for mustering enough courage to pass the bill which had been stalled in the legislature for more than 12 years.

“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.”

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