On the 28th of June, northern lawmakers gathered at the Zuma Resort, just on the outskirt of the Federal Capital Territory, and the agenda was to deliberate on the PIB.
The chairman of the caucus, Sarkin Adar from Sokoto State is the chairman of the lower chamber committee on petroleum (upstream). The event was well attended.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, the minister of petroleum, Mele Kyari, the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mohammed Bello, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdulahi Sule, the chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum, Audu Ogbeh, Ango Abdulahi, Boss Mustapha, Simon Lalong all attended the meeting.
Speaking at the event, the Sultan said the PIB must support the exploration of oil in the frontier basins.
“We continue to talk about poverty, unemployment and the attendant insecurity while we are sitting on billions of barrels of Hydrocarbon from Sokoto Basin to Chad Basin, and from Gongola to Bida and Benue Trouh Basins untapped.
“We should have a PlB that will encourage massive hydrocarbon exploration in those Frontier Basins.”
The frontier basins refer to potential oil fields outside the Niger Delta basin. The PIB is proposing the establishment of a frontier basin exploration fund.
The original bill proposed 10% of the prospective mining licences fees for the fund.
The committee of the House on the other hand recommended 30% of the profit of the NNPC limited and 10% prospective mining licence. A major win for the north, where most of the basins are located.
The south on the other is interested in the host community trust fund. Section 240 of the bill makes provision for the host communities trust fund.
The House committee recommended 5 per cent for the host communities, which oil companies are to contribute to communities where they are operating.
The House passed that version, however, in the Senate, the host community fund proposal was amended.
Sen Sani Kaita, moved an amendment for it to be reduced to 3%, a move that caused mild disagreement.
Now, two-chamber has passed two different versions.
Aside from that, the north also got another win, as revealed that Mohammed Monguno, the chairman ad hoc committee on PIB, said it’s not only oil producing communities, but any community that pipeline passes through. Which means many communities in manys part of the country will benefit.
The following day, lawmakers from the south met at transcorp hilton in Abuja to discuss further on the matter.