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PIB: Fixing host community fund above 3% will scare investors —Sylva

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has said the National Assembly adopted three per cent for Host Communities Fund in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) because that is what would attract more investments into oil-producing areas.

The Minister, who remarked while hosting some Ijaw elders in his office in Abuja on Friday maintained that fixing the host community fund above three per cent would scare investors away and could force the remaining few to introduce sharp practices in the sector.

“Everything was weighed before 3 per cent was settled on. Please, tell our people to take the 3 per cent, it is in our collective interest. If we put the fund at 10 per cent, the oil companies will only add it to their operational cost and that consequence would come back to the country,” Sylva said.

Read also: Nigerian govt to meet oil-producing communities on PIB

Furthermore, he said foreign investors were dragging their feet to come to Nigeria because of some uncertainties in the sector before the adoption of the PIB.

Also, the minister noted that out of $50 billion oil and gas investments that came to Africa last year, Nigeria only got $3 billion as foreign investors weren’t sure of the investment climate in the country.

Meanwhile, Sylva disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the building of a riverine oil depot in Bayelsa State to make petroleum products readily available in the riverine areas.

In his remarks, the leader of the Ijaw Elders’ delegation, Chief Timi Kay Ogoriba, said their visit would afford them the opportunity to address issues that were generated by the passage of PIB.

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