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Economy

News Flash: Finally, Senate passes PIB into law, 13 years after  –concedes three percent revenue to host communities.

Eyewitness reporter
The Senate Thursday finally passed the controversial and highly contentious Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) into law 13 years after it was first introduced in the National Assembly.
The bill, which has 318 clauses, grants three percent operating expenditure of oil companies to the host communities.
This was however against the five percent that was advocated by the oil-rich South-South communities.
After a third reading by the Chairman, the PIB was passed, Joint Committee Petroleum (upstream and downstream) and gas, Mallam Mohammed Sabo, presented a report and its  318 clauses were put to a voice vote and passed within 10 minutes.
He said the legislation is aimed at promoting transparency, good governance and accountability in the oil and gas industry.
Sabo also noted that the committee recommended that 30 percent of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) profit from oil and gas should be used to fund the exploration of frontier basins.
“The various obsolete laws currently in operation in the country have been updated and consolidated in this chapter to meet global competitiveness and best practices.
“A total of 355 amendments were recommended to this chapter while others were retained,” Sabo said.
During the consideration of the bill in the committee of the whole and at the public hearing, representatives of the host communities demanded 10 percent allocation even though five percent was proposed.
The joint committee recommended three percent after a meeting of the Senators with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Mele Kyari, which three percent was accepted as what is due to host communities.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Delta south, Mr. James Manager, in his remarks, said 5 percent was not too much for the host communities.
However, the bill, which has five parts, eight schedules and 318 clauses, was finally passed.
An elated Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, congratulated members of the National Assembly, adding that the ninth National Assembly has delivered on one of its core legislative mandates.
He said that the ninth National Assembly has finally broken the jinx and defeated the demon of PIB by passing it into law.

The PIB was first introduced into the National Assembly in 2008 as an Executive bill by then President, Umar Yar’Adua.

The Sixth National Assembly (2007 – 2011) failed to pass the bill.

The bill was reintroduced into the National Assembly in 2012 by President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Economy

Nigerians to groan under fresh fuel scarcity for another two weeks- Independent Petroleum Marketers

The Eyewitness Reporter 
The current fuel crisis in the country may not go anytime soon as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has warned that the situation may likely persist for the next two weeks.
Speaking against the fresh fuel scarcity in the country, the IPMAN’s Public Relations Officer, Chinedu Ukadike disclosed that there is no petrol product available for supply in the country.
Ukadike, in a statement, said there is a breach in the international supply chain, adding that fuel is not available even for Nigeria’s sole supplier, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NPCL).
This follows an ongoing turnaround maintenance of refineries in Europe.Ukadike explained that once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because they depend on imports.

“The situation is that there is no product. Once there is a lack of supply or inadequate supply, what you will see is scarcity and queues will emerge at filling stations.

“On the part of NNPCL, which is the sole supplier of petroleum products in Nigeria, they have attributed the challenge to logistics and vessel problems.

“Once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because we depend on imports.

” I also have it on good authority that most of the refineries in Europe are undergoing turnaround maintenance, so sourcing petroleum products has become a bit difficult.” IPMAN spokesman said.
According to him, “NNPC Group CEO has assured us that there will be improvement in the supply chain because their vessels are arriving”.“Once that is done, normalcy will return. This is because once the 30-day supply sufficiency is disrupted, it takes two to three months to restore it.

“We expect that by next week or so, NNPC should be able to restore supply and with another week, normalcy should return,” he said.

Ukadike further stated that “NNPC has said the marketers who have not been able to renew their licences will not be allowed to remain on their portal which has been shut for some time now.

” Because of this, we have not been able to request new products”.

 “At this nascent period of deregulation, you will discover that this leads to scarcity, even when the product arrives.

“As it is now, even by their data, out of 15,000 marketers that are on the portal with licences, only 1,050 renewed their licences.

“The requirement for renewal by NMDPRA is so much. Marketers are facing a hostile environment. NNPC placed a deadline of April 15, 2024, for marketers to renew their licences.

“We are, therefore, appealing to NNPC to extend this deadline and also to NMDPRA to hasten the release of licences of marketers who have completed their processes, and also reduce bottlenecks around licence renewals.”

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Economy

CBN sells $15.830m at N1.021 per dollar to 1,583 BDCs

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso
The Eyewitness Reporter 
In its ongoing effort to ensure liquidity in the foreign exchange market which is expected to ease the pressure on the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday disbursed the sum of $15,830,000m to 1,583 licensed Bureau De Change Operators at $10, 000 each.
In a letter dated April 22nd, 2024 and addressed to the President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria and signed by Dr Hassan Mahmud, the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN, the beneficiaries are mandated to sell allocated forex to eligible end users ” at a spread of not more than 1.5 percent above the purchase price.
The CBN said the sale of forex to the BDCs will meet market demand (retail-end) for invisible transactions.
The apex bank however advised all the BDCs to continue to abide by the rules and conditions as stipulated in the operational guidelines.
The beneficiary BDCs have trading locations at Lagos, Abuja, Akwa and Kano.
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Economy

News Alert! CBN revokes operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators for breach of regulatory guidelines

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

The Eyewitness Reporter

In its continuous efforts to sanitize the foreign exchange market and halt the frightening slide of the naira in exchange for the dollars, the Central Bank of Nigeria has revoked the operational licenses of 1,173 Bureau De Change operators.

In a press release issued Friday, March 1st, 2024 and signed by Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, the apex bank said the axed BDCs failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions which include payment of all necessary fees, including license renewal within the stipulated period in line with the Guidelines, rendition of returns in line with the Guidelines, compliance with guideline, directives and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering(AML), countering the Financing of Terrorism(CFT)and Counter-Proliferation Financing(CPF) regulations.

The apex bank said it relied on the powers conferred on it under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act(BOFIA)2020, Act n0.5 and Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015(the Guidelines).

“The CBN is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria. Compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector when the revised guidelines become effective.

‘Members of the Public are hereby advised to take note and be guided accordingly”, the statement concluded.

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