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Again, South South senators protest as Senate passes harmonised PIB

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Vice Chairman of the Committee – Yahaya Abdullahi. Photo/Twitter/senatorabdullahiyahaya/

Senators from the South-South geopolitical zone sustained their protest yesterday, as the Senate passed the harmonised Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Its passage followed the adoption of the conference report on the Bill, presented by Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi).

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The Senate had on July 6, set up a conference committee and mandated it to harmonise the PIB, which was passed last month, before being sent to President Muhammdu Buhari for signing.

The version passed by the Senate provides that three per cent of the operating expenditure of oil companies (OPEX), estimated at $500 million yearly, be channeled to the development of host communities.

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In the House of Representatives, the equity share was pegged at five per cent, but the Senate adopted the committee’s report, which recommended three per cent of oil profit to the development of host communities.

However, Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa) and George Sekibo (PDP, Rivers) protested the committee’s report.

Dickson threatened to walk out, but President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, appealed to the aggrieved senators not to leave but instead make political capital out of the things they did not get.

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