The Group Managing Director of NNPC Mele Kyari on Wednesday disclosed that northern states will benefit more from the Petroleum Industry Act, recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the region’s low input in the country’s oil sector.
Solidifying his comment, Mr. Kyari said the North will benefit more because new crude oil deposits are being discovered in the region and the funds derivable from exploration would propel more oil discoveries in the North.
“…not only the north but the whole country will benefit but the north will benefit more since oil has just been discovered and it will foster more discoveries of so many oil potential places in the North,” Mr. Kyari was quoted by BBC to have said.
The Buhari regime has upscaled search for commercial oil deposits in the North, committing huge state resources to the expedition in the Lake Chad Basin and the Bauchi trough. Not much success has been publicly declared.
No such exploration has been commissioned in the South through the Niger Delta, where crude is currently being mined for the nation’s largest revenue sources continue to suffer environmental degradation and rotten infrastructure.
Mr. Kyari said the law, which was meant to provide wholesome reform to Nigeria’s petroleum industry, is very important for Nigerians, especially the northern part of the country.
Prior to passage, the Petroleum Industry Bill generated a lot of furor.
Lawmakers, governors, and oil-bearing host communities kicked against the paltry allocations to host communities.
The Southern Governors’ Forum in July kicked against the proposed three percent sharing formula contained in the passed PIB, asking the National Assembly to stick to the five percent recommended by the House of Representatives.
The governors also rejected the proposed 30 percent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins and the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
However, Mr. Buhari in abrupt disregard to the southern governor’s concern assented three percent for host communities in the PIB law.
Peoples Gazette later exclusively reported how a bribe of $10 million was shared among lawmakers to ensure the smooth passage of the controversial bill.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila were said to have pocketed $2 million apiece from the largesse provided by barons in the oil industry.