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HOSTCOM tables grey areas for alteration in PIA act as senate amends act

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As the Senate prepares to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) have also tabled the grey areas affecting their interest in the act which they want to be amended.

They also expressed concern over their exclusion from the scheme of things after the passage of the 2021 PIB into law.

The Senate had on Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Bihari to transmit a bill to the National Assembly to amend the PIA act.
This is coming against the backdrop that Petroleum Subsidy was not contemplated in the 2022 budget after June, hence the amendment is to extend the provision of the fuel subsidy which is also requested in the amendment of the 2022 Appropriation Act.

HOSTCOM listed the grey areas in a memorandum which they submitted at the public hearing on the 2021 PIA Act (Amendment) Bill by the senate joint committee on Petroleum industry

The memorandum which was presented by the National President of HOSTCOM High Chief Dr. Benjamin S. Tamaranebi (JP) indicated that they were not carried along in the inauguration of the steering committee as well as the appointment of the various governing boards of NNPC LTD, the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority.

Chief Tamaranebi indicated that no attention was directed towards the issues affecting the Host Communities in the appointments as they bemoan the isolation they (the Host Communities) who are supposedly meant to be first in the hypothetical order of hydrocarbon investment as the first critical stakeholder. 

“We recommend that section 11 subsection 2 be amended to read “The Board of the Commission shall consist of:-One non-executive chairman, two non-executive commissioners, the chief executive officer of the commission (in this Act referred to as “the Commission chief executive “

“Also two other executive commissioners who are responsible for finance and accounts and exploration and acreage management and one representative of the Authority not below the rank of Director 

Continuing he said one representative of the Ministry not below the rank of Director and one representative of the Ministry of Finance.

“We therefore recommend that section 28 subsection 2 be amended to read “the commission shall indemnify the commission chief executive, commissioners or any officer of the commission for any liability incurred as a result of willful misconduct or gross negligence. 

He said section 240 subsection (2) should be amended to read 

 “Each proponent or operator, where applicable, shall make an annual financial contribution to the applicable host communities development trust fund of an amount equal to 3% of its annual operating expenditure of the proceeding financial year in the upstream petroleum operations,not less than 5% of the OPEX and CAPEX of the company or 5% of the maintenance/(construction) cost payable into the trust account annually from the midstream petroleum operations.

This he said should not be less than 5% of the actual annual (Opex and Capex) of the Operating Company’s preceding year expenditure be paid as contribution to the fund from the downstream petroleum operations affecting the host communities for which the applicable host communities development trust fund was established to ensure transparency, efficient legal framework, good governance, accountability and Host Communities sustainable development for a favorable working environment.

He recommended that section 104 (2) should be amended to read “money received under this section shall be paid to the Host Communities Sustainable Development Trust Fund” since section 104 subsection (4) has clearly stated that “money received from gas flare penalties by the Commission under this section, shall be for the purpose of environmental remediation and relief of the Host Communities of the settlor on which the penalties are levied. 

“Section 257 should be amended as HOST Communities are not contractors to any company or responsible for any negligence for any contract but only will be responsible if the surveillance contract is given to the Host Communities.

He said they felt worried about Section 240(2) on how industry players carefully removed down stream and midstream from remittance, which is the major issue in spillages and soot.

“We recommend that Section 52 (7d) be amended to read “money received from gas flaring penalties by the Commission under section 104 of this Act shall be transferred to the Host Communities Sustainable Development Trust Fund for the purpose of environmental remediation and relief of the Host Communities of the settlor on which the penalties are levied:”

He recommended that section 51 subsection 2 be amended to read “the Authority shall indemnify the Authority  chief executive, director or any officer of the Authority for any liability incurred as a result of willful misconduct or gross negligence.

He recommended that,  “Section 52 (7d) be amended to read “money received from gas flaring penalties by the Commission under section 104 of this Act shall be transferred to the Host Communities Sustainable Development Trust Fund for the purpose of environmental remediation and relief of the Host Communities of the settlor on which the penalties are levied:”

They also recommended that section 52 subsection 8 be amended to read, “The Authority shall ensure the prompt payment of all such sums directly into the Host Communities Sustainable Development Trust Fund’s account.

 “We recommend that section 59 Subsection (2) The Board of NNPC Limited shall be appointed by the President and composed of a non-executive chairman, the chief Executive of NNPC Limited, the Chief Financial Officer of NNPC Limited, a representative of the Ministry of Petroleum not below the rank of a director

“Also a representative of the Ministry of Finance, not below the rank of a director; and six non-executive members with at least 15 years post qualification cognate experience in petroleum or any other relevant industry with at least 15 years post-qualification experience. 

The national president recommended that section 103 subsection (1) be amended to read as follows,

“Financial contribution for remediation to environmental damage must be in compliance with the clean development mechanism (CDM) ghg project development cycle criteria which shall be clearly stated out in the Project development methodology and demonstrated in the Project Design Document (PDD). 

He said, Since the Host Communities are the direct recipients of the impact and negative effect of exploitation and exploratory activities, it would then be morally right that the environmental mitigation and remediation fund for environmental damage be transferred to the Host Communities Sustainable Development Trust Fund.

“We recommend that section 104 subsection (2) be amended to read “money received under this section shall be paid to the Host Communities Sustainable Development Trust Fund” since section 104 subsection (4) has clearly stated that “money received from gas flare penalties by the Commission under this section, shall be for the purpose of environmental remediation and relief of the Host Communities of the settlor on which the penalties are levied. 

“We recommend that section 115. Compensation for acquisition of land be amended to read:

“A Permit shall be issued subject to compliance by the applicant with the provisions of the Land Use Act Cap L5 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 in respect of compensation for acquisition of land for midstream and downstream petroleum operations.

“The Governor of a State of which land is required for carrying out operations or activities shall issue a permit subject to a licence or permit from the regulatory Commission or Authority as the case may be pursuant to the Land Use Act in respect of the land and in accordance with existing state law.

 “Or section 115 subsection 1 and 2 completely expunged.

“We recommend that Section 216 subsection 2 be amended to read ” the stakeholders to be consulted for any particular regulation shall be lessees, licensees, permit holders and the Host Communities that may be impacted by the regulations and such other persons that may be interested in the subject matter of the proposed regulation.

“We recommend that Section 216 subsection 5 be amended to read “Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), the Commission or Authority may, in national interest and exigency of the situation, issue a regulation after conducting stakeholders consultation in accordance with subsection (3). Or be expunged.

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Legislature

Senate affirms Kogi’s status as an oil producing state receiving 13% derivation

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The Senate on Thursday affirmed Kogi State as an oil producing state receiving 13% derivation as stipulated for by section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The affirmation was sequel to a motion sponsored to that effect by Senator Jibrin Isah, popularly known as Echocho (APC Kogi East).
Senator Isah’s motion came 24 hours after a heated debate between him and Senator Tony Nwoye on the status of Kogi as an oil producing state receiving 13% derivation .
While Tony Nwoye in his presentation at Senate plenary on Wednesday, on a bill seeking for inclusion of Anambra State in the operational radius of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), argued that Kogi State is not receiving 13% derivation like Anambra State, Echocho countered him that Kogi State has been a receiving the 13% derivation since October 2022.

Coming on the strength of Order 42 of the Senate Standing rules, the Kogi Senator raised a motion for affirmation of Kogi as an oil producing State, benefitting from the 13% derivation .
The singular prayer of Senator Echocho’s motion urged the Senate to take the clarification that Kogi State is an oil producing state which has been receiving the constitutional 13% derivation since October 2022; and accord it the necessary recognition as an oil-producing state.
Senator Echocho prior to adoption of the prayer by the Senate submitted saying that oil has been the mainstay of the Nigerian economy right from 1956 when it was discovered in commercial quantity at Oloibiri in the present Bayelsa State.

He explained further that after the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in Oloibiri, other discoveries were made in other parts of the country, including the present Abia, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ondo, and Imo States.

“Informed that oil was later discovered in commercial quantities in Odeke, Echeno, Ihile, Anocha/Uchuchu, Omabo, Ikah, Iregwu and Ujeh all in Ibaji community of the present-day Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State.

“Further Informed that after due assessments and consultations, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, officially listed Kogi State as an oil producing state in 2021.

“Aware of the peculiarities of the oil producing States, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under section 162(2), directs the constant reflection of the principle of derivation of not less than 13% in any approved revenue allocation formula.

“Recall that in a debate on a Bill to amend the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act No.86 LFN 2004 (SB 271) before this distinguished Senate on Wednesday, 28th February 2024, the sponsor of the Bill, Senator Tony Nwoye, stated that Kogi State is yet to start receiving the constitutional 13% derivation as an oil producing state.

“Cognisant that upon the official recognition by the RMAFC in 2021, the Kogi State Government officially received the first 13% derivation in October 2022 and has continued to receive it till date.

“Further Cognisant that the receipt of the first 13% was officially acknowledged by the Kogi State Government in a state broadcast on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, which was widely published in national dailies which reported Kogi State as the first northern oil producing state to get 13% derivation. Copies of those publications are attached for ease of reference”.

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Legislature

Afeez Kilani declares to contest NASSLAF chairmanship

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***Says he is most experienced having gone through the ranks

Alhaji Prince Afeez Kilani, senior Legislative Aide to distinguished senator Buhari Abdulfatai has officially declared to contest for the chairmanship position of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF)
Kilani who hails from Shaki west in Oyo State, South west Nigeria said he would bring his wealth of experience to bare by improving on the welfare of Legislative Aids.
“I have been here since the year 2015. I got here as a legislative Assistant, that is LA2 and because of thr level of dedication my boss promoted me to LA1 in 2019.
“Now I am the SLA to the distinguished senator Buhari Abdulfatai, he is a third time Senator in the Nigerian senate.
“With this carrier progression, coupled with my experience in the National Assembly, at least I have run through the ranks of the aides of the National Assembly.
“I think I am in the best position to understand the yearnings and the needed welfare of the legislative aides because I have gone through the ranks of the legislative aids.
“We don’t want a situation whereby an aide or a chairman will be elected and he will not understand what other legislative aides are going through.
He said there is no need to elect a chairman that will not understand the pains, the feelings and yearnings of Legislative aides.
He said he is a reflection, a manifest example of a leader who has gone through the ranks of legislative aid because, “I started my carrier as an SL2 but now I am the SLA so there is nothing that any legislative aide is going through that I don’t understand.
“With that understanding, I am in the best position pilot the affairs of the national Assembly legislative aides. If you give me your support, I am going to serve you better.”
On how he would be able to use diplomacy to settle disagreement with the management of the National Assembly when it arises, he said, “We are in the 21st century, and as a lawyer there is what is called alternative dispute resolution. In labour law, it is very important that confrontation, protests should be the last thing, should be on the last burner.
‘The first thing is negotiation, good approach to issues, we are in a democratic era. It is when all that fails that we can adopt confrontation which we are not going to even adopt.
“I know with my skills as a lawyer for more than 11 years of experience, it is not going to be difficult for me to meet with management to convince them of the reason why they should take care of us.”

Chairman of the Southwest National Assembly Legislative Forum, Ogumawola Ebeneza, said, “As you can see the ovation is laud because we have gone through rigorous screening and Southwest as a leading zone when it comes to affairs of the NASSLAF we have then everything in to consideration and we decided one voice to queue behind our own Barr.Hafiz Kelani as our candidate
The DG said the aides need a new lease of life.
“We are tired of recirculation of warn out leaders. We don’t want people that have been circulating themselves since the 5th Assembly.
“You have heard the voice of the aides, the first timers, and the semi first timers and we have decided as the South West zone we have decided to put our own, some one who’s door will be opened, who will not stay in the office wanting people to come and meet him.
“He is someone that will go round to know the needs and yearnings of the aides. This is the man we are looking for. This is the reason we are doing to stand by him, He is not for South West but for all the zones.
Olusola Olugbami AKA maintain said they need Somebody that will do what others have not been able to do, you know in the South West, we don’t take the back seat.
“Whenever we said we have resolved to do something that is what we will do. This is our candidate and by the grace of God, he is going to emerge victorious.

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Legislature

Senate panel quizzes Bakari as NFIU Boss

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The Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes has on Monday quizzed Hafsat Bakari as the Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU).

President Bola Tinubu last week appointed Bakari as the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, pending her confirmation by the Senate.

By the appointment Bakari is to replace Modibbo Tukur who was relieved of his job by President Tinubu in June 2023.
Bakari is a lawyer and financial intelligence expert with years of experience in anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing said she has “enough experience to discharge he duties”
Before her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the NFIU, she served as Deputy Director at the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and was at different times the Head of the General Services Unit; Head of the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and Head of the Board Secretariat of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In a chat with newsmen after the screening, the Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Emmanuel Menga Udende expresses that Ms. Bakare will bring her wealth of experience and expertise to bare in the discharge of her mandate in this critical role, especially in view of the President Bola Tinubu’s war against illicit financial flows and other sharp practices currently prevalent in segments of the nation’s foreign exchange markets”
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) a creation of the National Assembly is the Nigerian federal agency responsible for collecting and analyzing disclosures from reporting organizations, in order to produce financial intelligence to other agencies combating money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes.
The NFIU was established in 2004 as an autonomous unit within the central coordinating body for the country’s Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing, and Counter-Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) framework of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN).
It also operates as part of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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