North-west Zone Rejects PIB
The Kano State Governor, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso and his Kaduna State counterpart, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero has rejected the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), declaring that if the bill was passed into law, it would further create poverty and insecurity in the North.
Speaking at the public hearing on the PIB in the North-west zone, organized by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee at Hassan Katsina House, Kaduna, Kwankwaso warned members of the National Assembly from the North against betrayal during the debates on the bill.
He maintained that with the 13 per cent derivation to the oil producing states and the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC), there was no way the North would support the bill that will further impoverished the region and compound the security challenges facing it.
Kwankwaso argued that the ownership of petroleum and gas resources was still vested in the sovereign state of Nigeria and not in any region, pointing out that for the purpose of exercising true fiscal federalism, the National Assembly should expunge sections 116 (establishment of the Petroleum Host Community Fund), 117 (purpose of the Host Community Fund) and 118 (beneficial entitlements to the communities ) from the bill.
On his part, Yero said the Host Communities Fund created in the bill was unacceptable, stressing that the provision did not reckoned with the revenue allocation provision contained in Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution.
Yero, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Justice, Hajiya Hauwa Dalhatu, said creating HCF was not only tantamount to creating a fourth tier of government but will further alienate other parts of the country economically.
1. Heading the reform team is Diezani Alison Madueke. Madueke is the Minister of Petroleum Resources. She is also a former director of Shell Petroleum Development Corporation. This employment history potentially poses a conflict of interests. In 2010, leaked US diplomatic cables quoted Ann Pickard, then Vice-President of Shell for Africa, boasting about how Shell encouraged employees to infiltrate all relevant government agencies.
2. While some suggest expected reforms would convert Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation into a profit centre, this is perhaps overly optimistic. Until the NNPC ceases to be an appendage of the executive government and an epi-centre of patronage this change does not appear plausible.
3. Recent conduct by Nigeria's parliament has inspired little confidence. Parliamentary procedure dictates that the Petroleum Industry Bill supplied by the executive becomes the property of parliament. Parliament, then, includes or excludes what is deemed necessary and consistent with the national interest.