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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has called on the National Assembly to use the Petroleum Industry Bill to ensure uniformity in addressing the problems of all communities located in mineral-producing areas.

The Chairman, Board of NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee, made the call while appearing at the Senate to present the organisation’s position on the PIB, especially the proposed Host Communities’ Fund provided for in the draft legislation.

Mitee, according to a statement from the agency on Sunday, said, “NEITI believes that the preferred option is for the communities to be directly impacted by the fund through a process, which pertains in the minerals sector in Nigeria, whereby the communities enter into an agreement with licensees or lease-holders, as the case may be, and agree as to terms and conditions regarding the fund.”

He stated that the fund should function according to the same or similar model that was provided for under the existing Minerals and Mining Act.

Mitee called for clarity in the mode of administration of the fund to ensure direct impact on the benefiting communities and drew the attention of the Senate to a provision in Section 2 of the PIB.

The section, according to the NEITI boss, states, “The entire property and control of all petroleum in, under or upon any land within Nigeria, its territorial waters, or which forms part of its continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone, is vested in the government of the federation.”

 

Information from Punch was used in this report.

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