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PIB: 3% Too Small For Those Who Suffer Burden Of Producing Oil, Says Prof Oyebode

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Prof Akin Oyebode
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**Recommended further amendments of the act as one of the ways to address the concerns of the affected communities.

Following the Presidential assent to the Petroleum Industrial Bill a Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, Akin Oyebode, has faulted the allocation of three per cent operating expenditure of oil firms to host communities.

Oyebode, who featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today monitored in Abuja, believes such a percentage amounts to nothing compared with the sufferings of the people of the affected areas.

“I think we have to recognise that what we really have are oil-bearing areas, they are not oil-producing (but) areas which bear oil, and the relationship between the international oil companies and the oil-bearing communities needs to be straightened out,” he said on Monday.

“Three per cent is a pittance for those who suffer the incumbrances of producing oil. The concomitant effect of ravage of the environment, and then the fact of the unpleasantness of heat coming from fires, cancer and other things ravaging people inhabiting the area, need to be compensated for.”

The professor was analysing how the recent signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law by President Muhammadu Buhari would affect the nation, especially the people in the oil-bearing communities.

He stressed the need for authorities to put into critical consideration the health condition of the people and the hardship they face – as a result of oil spills and other factors.

While Oyebode described the presidential assent to the Act as a step in the right direction, he recommended further amendments of the act as one of the ways to address the concerns of the affected communities.

“We all agree that the oil-bearing areas are the geese that lay the golden eggs, so they have to survive, and they have to be cushioned and defended from the vagaries of oil production,” he said. “Trying to smuggle in people over host territory, oil pipelines pass, I think it is being clever by half.”

“We must be able to separate issues. It is taking such a long time to have the PIB, so we should not throw away the baby (as people say) with the bathwater. So, it is a fine place to start to see whether we need further amendments of the PIB going forward in order to make progress,” the legal expert added.

The Petroleum Industry Act provides a legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the nation’s petroleum sector, the development of host communities, and related matters.

It was initially passed by lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives chambers of the National Assembly on July 15 and 16 respectively.

President Buhari assented to the act a month after the lawmakers gave the approval.

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Business & Economy

Kaduna refinery will begin production in December – NNPCL Boss, Kyari

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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL,Mele Kyari has disclosed that the refinery in Kaduna State will be ready for production by December 2024.

He disclosed this during a meeting with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria in Abuja.

He disclosed that operations at the Port Harcourt refinery are scheduled to begin in two weeks.

According to Kyari: “We did a mechanical completion of the (Port Harcourt) refinery, that was what we said in December. We now have crude oil already stocked in the refinery. We are doing regulatory compliance tests that must happen in every refinery before you start it, and I assure you that this Port Harcourt refinery will start in the next two weeks.

“Completing the mechanical work means that you are done with the rehabilitation work, now you have to test to see how it works. Of course, we have also completed the mechanical work on the Warri refinery.

“It is also undergoing regulatory compliance; processes that we are doing with our regulator, and this will soon be completed and it will be ready.

“The Kaduna refinery will be ready by December. We have not reached that stage in Kaduna, but we promise Kaduna will be delivered by December.”

 

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Business & Economy

Edun Blames Economic Hardship On Free Printing Of Naira During Buhari’s Govt

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Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

The Federal Government has disclosed that the free printing of naira notes for eight years, under the previous administration went into the hands of a privileged few, without corresponding productivity, resulting in the country’s current economic situation.

Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

While elaborating on measures to revamp the economy, the Finance minister vowed to thoroughly audit the 22.7 trillion naira, and mop up the monies from the market and use it to pay the central bank to give the government a balanced book.

Responding to questions, the finance minister addressed the issue of waivers on customs duty running into trillions of naira, promising to overhaul the system, rejig it and implement a technology and payment system that would correct all anomalies in place.

He further disclosed that a total of 13 trillion naira was collected as non-oil revenue in 2023.

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Harsh Economy: FG To Begin Distribution Of Grains Nationwide 

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The Federal Government will begin the distribution of grains nationwide to cushion the impacts of the hardship in Nigeria.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari disclosed this on Monday.

“Dear Fellow Nigerians,” he wrote on his official X handle. “In these trying times, I extend my sincere compassion to those affected by the hardships in the country. I understand the gravity of the situation, especially with the unfortunate event of foodstuff warehouse looting.

“Amidst these challenges, I want to assure you that our commitment to your well-being remains resolute. We shall commence the distribution of 42,000 metric tons of grains, as approved by Mr. President, across the 36 states of the federation as one of the programs to be rolled out this week.

“We are working hand in hand with NEMA and the DSS to ensure that the grains get to the right people in the right packages and quantities. Furthermore, 58,500 metric tons of milled rice from mega rice millers will also be released into the market for stabilization.”

The minister who hailed the resilience of the Nigerian people, urged them to back President Bola Tinubu’s government in its quest to address the challenges facing the country.

“I acknowledge the strength of the Nigerian people, and it is this resilience that will guide us through these difficult times. Let us stand together to support Mr. President in his strive for a better Nigeria,” Kyari said.

“Our government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to addressing these challenges and working towards a more secure and prosperous future for all.”

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