Niger Delta to get N176bn yearly

Oil producing communities in the Niger Delta will receive additional N176 billion yearly from a special development fund to be set up under the new Petroleum Industry Bill, industry experts said.

President Goodluck Jonathan presented the bill last week, with provisions for the creation of a Petroleum Host Community Fund, into which oil companies will be made to pay 10 percent of the profits they make from “upstream” operations.

The bill did not say specifically how much would be realised if the law takes effect, but a former presidential aide had said this provision will make available up to $1.1 billion yearly, which is equivalent of N176 billion.

“The PIB will give local communities 10 percent equity participation and those that are impacted by the industry will receive dividends amounting to $1.1 billion or more,” Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, former Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters, was quoted as saying in the 2011 edition of the Oil & Gas Year magazine which is the latest issue.

This provision is the latest in series of interventionist measures taken by the Federal Government over the years, thereby funneling billions of naira monthly to the oil producing region.