Nigeria’s two houses have passed versions of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) but various groups remain unhappy, highlighting the challenges for the legislation ahead of presidential approval.

Wood Mackenzie has said the bill may become law by the end of this year. First, though, differences between the two versions will have to be ironed out.

One notable difference is in the amount the bill sets aside for host communities. The House of Representatives set this at 5% for upstream communities in hearings early this month. The Senate, though, approved a 3% share.

A number of groups have objected to this. The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) described this amount as “satanic and obnoxious”. The group, in an open letter to heads of Nigeria’s House of Representatives and Senate, said 10% was the minimum acceptable.

PANDEF also criticised the inclusion of communities with pipelines across their lands as host communities. The group went on to criticise the role of northerners in the oil industry.

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio dismissed these concerns. “It is not the percentage that matters,” he said. “Whatever [the legislature] agree on, we will accept. At least, let us start from somewhere.”

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Source: EnergyVoice

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