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PIB: Reps okay 3% equity shares after opposition lawmakers stage walk out

... give nod to $8.3bn, €490m external borrowing by Buhari

The House of Representatives has approved 3% operating cost to be paid by oil companies to the Host Community Development Trust Fund in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The approval was given at the extraordinary plenary of the House on Friday after opposition lawmakers staged a walk from the Chamber, following refusal to by the All Progressives Congress (APC) dominated members to amend the controversial section 52 in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The Conference Committee Report on PIB was Thursday stepped down owing to the visible protest by lawmakers from the oil rich Niger Delta region when it became clear that the 3% approval of equity shares by Senate was adopted in the report.

The House had last two weeks approved 5% operating cost by oil companies to the Host Community Development Trust Fund while Senate approved only 3% for the same purpose.

But on noticing that the lawmakers opposed to the 3% were out of the Chamber, the report which was not listed on the Order Paper for the day, the APC lawmakers moved that it should be taken and that was done.

Meanwhile, the House approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for external borrowings of $8,325,526,537 (USD) and €490,000,000 (Euros) under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan.

The approval followed the consideration and adoption of the interim report on the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan by the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management.

Presenting the report, the Committee Chairman, Ahmed Safana explained that the terms and conditions of the loan from the funding agencies will be forwarded to the National Assembly prior to the execution of same for concurrence and proper documentation.

According to the lawmaker, the funding agencies are: World Bank – $796,000,000; China Exim Bank – $2,901,026,509; Industrial Commercial Bank of China – $2,484,555,304; African Development Bank – $104,200,000; Africa Growing Together Fund – $20,000,000; French Development Agency – €240,000,000; European Investment Bank – €250,000,000; European ECA/KfW/IPEX/AFC – $1,959,744,724; and International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) – $60,000,000.

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