PIB: Buhari approved 5% for host communities, Minister changed it

A former Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Henry Dickson, has exposed how the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, allegedly proposed 2.5 per cent operating surplus to Host Communities while President Muhammadu Buhari proposed 5 per cent in the Petroleum Industrial Bill.

The Senator made the revelation when he spoke with newsmen on the contentious issue on Thursday in Abuja.

According to Dickson: “Nigerians should ask the Minister of State for Petroleum why (late President Umaru) Yar’Adua proposed 10 per cent, Buhari proposed 5 per cent, but he came to the National Assembly to propose 2.5 per cent.”

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The representative of Bayelsa West Senatorial District explained that before the passage of the bill, Sylva and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, told the Senators that it is either they agreed to 2.5 percent or no investment.

He said: “Senator (George) Sekibo and I were mandated to reach out to other senators who are not in our region and we did.

“We spoke to lot of them and they all supported us for the 5 per cent.

“Before we took that deliberation and the vote, the Minister of State for Petroleum and the GMD of NNPC were invited to give us the executive perspective.

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“I don’t know why it was done, but it was not parliamentary, but it was a decision the leadership took and they came supposedly to enlighten us on the technical  aspect of the bill.

“They told us that it is either we agree to 2.5 percent or no investment.

“So, I can feel how most members who had earlier given us their commitment felt when they heard the tough position by the executive.

“The minister said there won’t be investment inflow if we approve anything higher than the 2.5 per cent.

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“There was no room for any interrogation, so they left and we started the consideration.”

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