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Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari, has said the allocation of three per cent oil companies operating expense to host communities was higher than 30 per cent of profit  oil and gas for frontier exploration.

Kyari disclosed this when he appeared on an NTA interview programme, yesterday.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, as head of Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, implementation committee.

This followed the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law  by the president on August 16, 2021.

Leaders in Niger Delta have criticised the three per cent annual allocation to host communities from the operator’s operating expenditure.

They described it as a “meagre portion” compared to the level of environmental degradation and development in the region,  some even frowned at 30 percent allocation for the search of oil and its discovery.

But speaking during the interview, Kyari said the allocation for host communities has a low percentage but a bigger value.

He said: “For instance, when you say 30 per cent profit oil and gas from NNPC shares or from PSC, it is a very small number. The percentages appear very outrageous but 30 per cent of what? Nobody has sat down to look at it. When you say profit oil 30 per cent, it probably comes down to less than $400 million per annum.

“But when you come to the host communities, you have three per cent of our operating expense. We spent about $16 billion in fiscal 2020 in our operating expense across the industry. So, when you take three per cent of that number, it comes to $500 million, which is far above the budget of NDDC.

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“You can see that those percentages don’t reflect the realities that we are trying to achieve by this. And for profit oil, there are lots of uncertainties around it because if you don’t make profit it is zero but you must spend money to do operating expense.

“We are very sure that the provisions that are meant for host communities will be implemented and delivered.”

The NNPC GMD said the PIA will “proffer lots of prosperity for our country” in both short and long terms.

He said there will not be difficulties implementing the new law, adding that concerns from stakeholders have been taken into consideration by the implementation committee.

Kyari said the concept of host communities in the PIB originated from the executives, adding that the host community fund was completely within the control of the host communities.

“It is not a fund that will be managed by oil companies,” he said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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