The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will make available an estimated $500 million annually for host communities to deploy for developmental projects, the All Progressive Congress (APC) Legacy Awareness and Campaign said.
Buhari had last week assented to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) recently passed by the National Assembly after a tortuous journey of over 20 years, giving room for the restructuring of the operations and management of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The new law provides for 3 percent operating cost to be paid by oil companies to the Host Community Development Trust Fund.
APC Legacy Campaign, a voluntary think-tank group of the governing party, said the availability of the fund was unprecedented in the history of Nigeria; hence any dedicated fund has never existed to serve host communities.
The group in a statement signed by Ismail Ahmed, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Tolu Ogunlesi and Salihu Lukman said the APC-led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had also broken the jinx of the inability to carry out a bid round for marginal oil fields, since 2003.
It explained: “This year the Department of Petroleum Resources concluded the first such bid round in 18 years, with an estimated value of around half a billion dollars in expected revenues for the government, in addition to billions of dollars that will be invested in the purchased assets and host communities.
“The Presidential declaration of the year 2020 as the Year of Gas, followed by the declaration of 2021 to 2030 as the Decade of Gas, as well as the launch of the National Gas Expansion Programme in 2020, will attract new investment into the Niger Delta, which is Nigeria’s gas-producing region, and create jobs and economic opportunities for the people.”
APC Legacy Campaign also said Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, in Bonny, Rivers State, which President Buhari flagged off in 2021, would attract about $10 billion of domestic and foreign investment, while creating several thousands of job, and asserting Nigeria’s place on the global map of gas producing countries.
The group noted: “Several other investments are ongoing across the Niger Delta, spurred by the relative peace and security being enjoyed, as well as the President’s unwavering commitment to develop the region and help it make up for decades of neglect, pollution and underinvestment. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is developing, among other projects, a pioneering Oil and Gas Park in Bayelsa State, scheduled for completion at the end of 2022. The Park will be serviced by a 10mw power plant.
“The Presidential Amnesty Programme, inherited from previous administrations, has continued to deliver on its mandate, with the full support of the President. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is being reformed and repositioned, in line with the President’s vision of ensuring that the people of the Niger Delta benefit maximally from the wealth of their land. The Administration has recently completed and commissioned the Commission’s Headquarters, 25 years after construction began, and after several spells of abandonment by previous governments.
“A comprehensive forensic audit of the NDDC has just been completed; the first of such audit since the Commission was established. The President is determined to ensure a clean break from the mismanagement and corruption of the past.
“In terms of physical infrastructure, the 338km East-West Road, running across four States of the region — Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom — is now receiving priority attention, more than a decade after the contract was first awarded. The President is committed to completing the first four sections of the Road by 2022.”