Extractive Industry Bill, Panacea to Host Communities Fund Controversy – Senator

OrderPaperToday – A member of the National Assembly, Sen. Yusuf Yusuf (PDP, Taraba), has proposed that the contentious Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) be replaced with an Extractive Industry Bill (EIB) as a solution to the agitations of resource-endowed communities across the country.

Yusuf said an EIB would be more inclusive as it would cover crude oil resource as well as other mineral deposits all over the country, thereby making the controversial host communities fund attractive to a wider cross-section of the country.

Recall that PIB was first introduced in the legislature in 2007 following recommendations of a Presidential Committee on oil and gas sector reforms in Nigeria. The Bill which is primarily intended to strengthen the capacity of indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector and introduce a more efficient resource management regime, has continually suffered stillbirth.

The ‘Petroleum Host Communities Fund’ which stipulates special funding for oil bearing communities has remained one of the touch-points of the bill as it generates massive opposition from non-oil bearing communities in Nigeria..

“Let us change from PIB to Extractive Industry Bill because every part of this country has an extractive industry,” the senator stated, adding: “If we do that, all host communities with extractive industries will benefit and it will just solve our problem once and for all. Today, petroleum is not as important as it used to be, not that it will not be important again.

“We have gold somewhere, we have diamond somewhere, we have sapphire somewhere, we have other solid minerals; they are all extractive and we have gas somewhere. Instead of Petroleum Industry Bill, give us Extractive Industry Bill, which petroleum is part of.”

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