OrderPaperToday – As reactions continue to trail the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the Senate, in the just concluded week, Southern Governors have rejected 3% contribution to host community development fund.

Rising from a meeting, Monday, in Lagos, the governors also frowned at proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.

A communique signed by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and chairman of Southern Governors Forum, outlined a series of issues of concern to the governors, including dissatisfaction with aspects of the PIB as passed.

Recall that senators, at plenary on Thursday 1st of July, in the majority voted for 3 percent contribution to the host communities, following an amendment to Clause 240(2) by Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina North), which was seconded by Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto East).

While declaring support for the 5% proposed by the House of Representatives for host communities, the southern governors rejected the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).

The Forum disagreed that the company be vested in the Federal Ministry of Finance but should be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since all tiers of government have stakes in that vehicle.

The Southern Governors, however, commended the National Assembly for the progress made so far on the PIB.

Also contained in the communique was their displeasure over the removal of the electronic transmission of the election result from the electoral act and the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.

The Southern Governors also set a timeline of Wednesday, 1st September, 2021 for the promulgation of the anti open grazing law in all member States.

Part of its resolution from the meeting on Security was that funds deducted from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the States and Federal Government to combat security challenges.

They also re-emphasised the need for State Police, stating that if for any reason security institutions need to undertake an operation in any State, the Chief Security Officer of the State must be duly informed.

The forum also frowned at selective criminal administration of Justice and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the Law and fundamental human rights.

Reiterating their commitments to the politics of equity and fairness, the governors unanimously agreed that the presidency of Nigeria be rotated between Southern and Northern Nigeria and resolved that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the southern region.

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