House of Representatives was yesterday divided over how much should accrue to the country from exploratory licences issued to prospective companies in the petroleum industry.
The House had last week Thursday recommended that oil companies operating in the country should be remitting on a monthly basis 7.5 percent of their net profits to the Petroleum Host Community Fund, PHCF.
The PHCF is a pool of fund that will be made accessible to every oil producing community in Nigeria and will be used for developmental projects.
The House subsequently adopted the recommendation in Clause 118 that instead of the original 10 percent going into the community fund, it should be slashed down to 7.5 percent due to the increasing number of communities that would benefit.
Clause 118 is specifically on ‘Beneficial Entitlements to the Communities.’
At the resumed hearing on the report on Wednesday, the lawmakers were in sharp disagreement over the provision of Clause 209 of the bill.
Hon. Kyari Gujbahu from Borno State had raised observation on the clause which deals with holders of exploratory licence to prospective operators in the industry and the monetary benefit therein.
Gujbahu argued that in the draft report of the committee, revenue from activities of oil companies to be used for the take off of River Basins exploratory activities was pegged at $4 per barrel of gas and 20 cents for a barrel of crude.
“In the draft report which was referred for final compilation by committee, the sharing formula between government and oil companies for the development of River Basins across the country was $4 per barrel.
“I now wonder why that has disappeared from this clause as contained in this report,” he said.
Another lawmaker from Borno State, Hon. Abdurahman Terab agreed with Gujbahu that the suggestion was not a new thing in countries where there is oil, adding that it had been in use in Chad, Niger and even Ghana.
Hon. Sokonte Davies from Rivers disagreed that there was no way the amount could have been pegged at $4per barrel, which he said was too much a sum to be used as a takeoff fund.
At this point, a member of the committee, Hon. Ali Ahmad from Kwara moved for an amendment, saying that the 20 cents be substituted for $2 per barrel which amounts to $1.2billion per annum.

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