The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, says the federal government will hold an equity stake in trust for states and local government areas in the proposed NNPC Ltd. in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Mr Sylva said this in a press briefing on Thursday.
“Just like in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG), the federal government will hold the equity in NNPC Ltd. in trust for the three tiers of government. You must agree that in this country, there is a federal government of Nigeria, and there is a federation,” said the minister. “The federal government of Nigeria can always hold something in trust for the federation. I can assure you that we are already discussing and we are clarifying some of these issues.”
Mr Sylva explained that the government was in talks with governors and that there was no need for any controversy on the issue.
On gender balance in the PIA steering committee, he said the federal government made selections based on offices.
“Let us not flog this situation because when you say you are nominating, it is offices that are represented. I represent the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and then the permanent secretary of the ministry,” he explained. “There is no way
because of gender equality I am going to look for somebody else to be here apart from the permanent secretary. When I say the executive secretary Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) is the secretariat, there is no way I can go and change the ES PTDF.”
On the three per cent host community fund, he argued that those agitating against it were politicians.
“Frankly, I don’t know why there would be unrest in the Niger Delta. I know that there are a lot of politicians who have taken this as a political issue, and they are politicising it,” added Mr Sylva. “But I have not heard the leaders of the Niger Delta that I respect kick against this.”
He further assured that the government would have no role in managing the fund as the operating companies and the communities would oversee it.