President Muhammadu Buhari has asked host communities to accept the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Buhari on Wednesday made the appeal in his address on the passage of the PIA.
A contentious issue in the bill is the allocation of 3 percent oil companies’ operating expenses for host communities — a percentage tagged as insufficient by some stakeholders.
Several stakeholders including Seriake Dickson, senator representing Bayelsa west; Douye Diri, governor of Bayelsa state; Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader, have argued that three percent is unacceptable.
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) also described the signing of the PIB into law by Buhari as a “callous act”.
But in his speech, Buhari said the PIA will bring “real and lasting benefits” to the host communities.
“The “Petroleum Industry Act 2021” creates a regulatory environment that would ensure efficiency and accountability across the oil and gas value chain and reposition NNPC to a commercially driven National Petroleum Company that is accountable to the Federation,” Buhari said.
“The Act also provides for a direct benefit framework that will enable sustainable development of Host Communities.
“I appeal to the host communities to look carefully at the contents of the Bill which in the implementation will bring real and lasting benefits to them.”
Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had said that host communities of oil companies in the Niger Delta could get $500 million annually from the new PIA.