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PIB: Southern governors reject 30% share of NNPC profit for exploration

 Governors of the southern states have rejected the proposed 30 percent share of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) profit for frontier exploration.

Last week, the national assembly passed the Petroleum Industry Bill, raising the basins exploration fund to 30 percent. The bill also made some amendments to the host communities trust fund.

In a letter addressed to the national assembly on Monday, Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader, described the 30 percent share as “fraudulent and provocative”.

Clark said the entire people of the Niger Delta region, for and on behalf of the host communities, vehemently reject the 3% and 5% of operating expenditure granted to the host communities.

Rising from its meeting on Monday, the southern governors, who commended the national assembly for the passage of the PIB, requested that the ownership of NNPC limited be in the trust of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) instead of the federal ministry of finance.

“The southern governors’ forum at the end of the meeting held on Monday, 5th July, 2021 reviewed the situation in the country and focused on the current security situation, constitutional amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB),” a communique signed by Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Ondo governor and chairman of the forum, reads.

“The Forum commends the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the PIB;

“the Forum rejects the proposed 3% and supports 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;

“However, the Forum rejects the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).

“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 (NSIA) since all tiers of Government have stakes in that vehicle.”

Meanwhile, Babs Omotowa, former managing director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), has advised stakeholders to focus on the potentials of the PIB rather than sharing gains.

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