Nigeria’s parliament was thrown into a boisterous session following the passage of the conference report of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The PIB report as passed by the National Assembly on Thursday pegged contributions to the host communities development trust fund at three per cent (3%) of the operating expenditure of oil companies in the region.
On July 1, while passing the PIB, the House of Representatives had pegged contributions to the host communities development trust fund at five per cent, and the Senate had pegged it’s at five per cent.
But tempers were heightened after some members of the House of Representatives protested the reduction in the approved percentage accruing to host communities after the conference committee of both the Senate and the House of Representatives harmonised the document.
A member of parliament, Chinyere Igwe from Nigeria’s southern Rivers state staged a protest on the floor of the House of Representatives chanting “the PIB report is a fraud”.
“It must be 5%,” he yelled before the arrival of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila. The House is currently in an executive session.
The Senate committee of the whole also adopted the report despite protest from Seriake Dickson, a senator from the South-south.
While he had protested the recommendation, Senate President Ahmad Lawan put the report to a voice vote and it passed despite strong “nays.”
By Abel Ejikeme