Nigeria’s National Assembly
05 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – There are indications that the eight National Assembly will begin public hearing on the Petroleum Host and Impacted Community Bill, PHICB, on May 15, 2018.
PHICB is one of the four segments that makes up the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
The Resident Consultant, Senate Upstream Petroleum Committee, Dr. Francis Adigwe, while speaking to SweetcrudeReports on the sideline of a discourse on the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Reforms in Port Harcourt, explained that the bill is targeted at companies big enough to make impact on their host communities.
Adigwe explained that the essence of the bill is to bring host communities into full participation in the development process from resources that come from oil and gas activities.
He expressed optimism that the eight Senate, which he described as committed, would pass the PIB and its concomitant bills in no distant time.
“The PHICB is a bill before the National Assembly. It has gone through first and second reading and is ready for public hearing.
“The bill is going for public hearing on the 15th of May in the House and then subsequently at the Senate.”
Adigwe who is also an oil and gas law expert, further explained that host communities in the PHICB cut across any community in the country that is impacted by oil and gas activities, including communities playing host to oil facilities like a refinery.
“Host communities are communities that are impacted by oil and gas activity. And they are communities not only resident in the Niger Delta but anywhere there is oil and gas activity in the country.
“For example, communities around Kaduna refineries are host communities, communities around the Dangote Refinery that is being built in Lagos, are also host communities. In terms of scope, the bill covers Niger Delta communities and every other community in the country.
“The essence of the PHICB is that oil and gas activity impacts on the livelihood of communities, it affects their means of survival, occupation and their environment. So there is need to confer some of those resources on the communities.
“The eight National Assembly is committed to enacting developmental and economic laws that will move the country forward. This is the first time I have seen lawmakers work till late in the night to ensure that a bill is passed.
“The PIGB has been passed and the eight National Assembly has made commitment that the outstanding three bills will be passed.”