The host communities of oil wells may still be splitting hairs of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as passed by the National Assembly, but President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the bill into law.
Host communities and Niger Delta leaders have been bellyaching over the three percent equity shareholding set aside for them, often describing it as insufficient. When the Bill was first introduced by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, equity shareholding for host communities was put at 10%.
But working from home in five days quarantine as required by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 after returning from London on Friday August 13, the President assented to the Bill Monday August 16, in his determination to fulfill his constitutional duty.
According to Presidentual spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, 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 same on July 16, thus ending a long wait since early 2000s, and notching another high for the Buhari administration.