Petroleum Industry Act (PIA): Clarify 3% Host Community Allocation, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) tells FG
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Federal Government to create more understanding about the three per cent revenue allocation to host communities in the Petroleum Industry Act.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had on Monday signed the Petroleum Industry Bill into law following its passage by the National Assembly last month.
“There is a need to create more understanding through public enlightenment about the three per cent revenue allocation to host communities to forestall a misunderstanding of the government’s intentions and raise tensions in the oil-producing region,” the Director-General of the LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to her, there should be a monitoring mechanism to ensure the allocated funds are judiciously used for the development of the host communities.
The chamber commended the passage of the PIB by the Federal Government and the National Assembly, saying it would open windows of opportunities in the oil and gas industry and renew optimism for increased inflow of investments, revenue generation boost, and job opportunities.
Almona said to reap the full benefits of PIA 2021, the Federal Government should be firm and clear in communications about the removal of oil subsidies or otherwise.
“Policy statements influence business decisions. The divergent statements by different government officials on the removal of oil subsidies create uncertainty. This is unhealthy and not standard practice for a sector that hosts billions of dollars of investment,” she said.
According to her, the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should be done in such a way that it does not create unnecessary bottlenecks and bureaucracy in contract administration and project management in the oil and gas industry.
She said the emerging companies should be run in line with the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Code of Corporate Governance.
Almona said, “The chamber has always advocated for a fully deregulated downstream sector of the oil and gas industry and create a level playing ground where market forces are allowed to allocate resources through cost-reflective pricing.
“We however urge the government to engage with all relevant stakeholders and players in the sector to arrive at an inclusive deregulation policy that creates a competitive business environment where all investors can thrive.
“The Act should be implemented with a focus on the areas of business regulations that make up the indicators of the Ease of Doing Business Ranking by the World Bank. Particularly, we need to do better with enforcing contracts within the oil and gas industry.”