Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law.
Presidential aide Femi Adesina in a statement said President Buhari who is working from home assented to the Bill in his determination to fulfil his constitutional duty.
The Nigerian leader is complying with a mandatory five days quarantine as required by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 after returning from London on Friday, August 13.
Mr Adesina in the statement said “the ceremonial part of the new legislation will be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled.
“The Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.
“The Senate had passed the Bill on July 15, 2021, while the House of Representatives did the same on July 16, thus ending a long wait since the early 2000s, and notching another high for the Buhari administration.”
While the bill was eventually passed on July 15, it was clouded by huge disagreements over the allocation of three per cent revenue to host communities in the Niger Delta.
The situation appeared to be even more controversial with thirty per cent of the fund allotted for the exploration of oil in frontier basins, mostly in northern states.
The Southern Governors’ Forum as well as leaders of the South-south region, including a former minister, Edwin Clark stoutly rejected the quota.
Representatives of the area demanded ten per cent, or in the minimum, five per cent as earlier passed by the House of Representatives.
These concerns raised were however brushed aside by the leadership of the National Assembly under the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan.
By Abel Ejikeme