The on-going public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) hit a snag yesterday, as members of the host communities exchanged blows with opposing Rep members during the hearing over who should represent oil producing areas.
The host community is an integral part of the PIB; however, issue of representation caused the pandemonium.
The leaders of the oil-rich areas, under the aegis of the ‘Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas’, had on Tuesday openly rejected the 2.5 percent proposed for them in the PIB 2020, being considered by the joint Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, (Downstream, Upstream and Gas).
They insisted that nothing short of the 10 percent of the operating expenditure they were demanding would be acceptable to them, because according to thrm the proposed 2.5 percent was grossly inadequate to provide basic social amenities and improve the standard of living of their people. But the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, faulted the position of host communities.
The fisticuffs broke out when the host communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas was called to the podium to make a presentation. Some other bodies of host communities, however, stood up, leading to a rowdy session.
The situation became worse when members of the opposing sides began to exchange blows, forcing the lawmakers to seek the intervention of security operatives.