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Reps Exchange Blows During PIB Hearing

Reps Exchange Blows During PIB Hearing

Fight broke out at the hearing taking place at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja when the first group of the host communities was invited to make their presentation.

The committee said the others will make their presentation after the first group — the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas — is done with theirs.

But some others kicked against the move. They stood up and started shouting at another. The shouting match dissolved into a rowdy session that further degenerated into fighting

Some of those present were overheard saying the representative of the first group “is not going anywhere”.

One of the men, who looked to be in his 60s, was injured with blood trickling from his nose.

It took the intervention of security personnel to restore calm after more than 10 minutes of confusion.

It is not immediately clear why the host communities kicked again the first presentation.

At the committee’s earlier hearing on Tuesday, the host communities disagreed on the percentage of operating expenditure due to them from oil firms.

While the PIB proposes 2.5 percent to set up a trust fund for the oil producing communities, the groups are insisting on 10 percent on the grounds that the percentage is not enough to improve the standard of living of their people.

Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, however, insists that the 2.5 percent is fair.

He had told journalists in Abuja: “I speak as a member of the host communities myself. If you have to look at it properly, you will see that 10 per cent in profit is different from 10 per cent of the operating expenditure.”

Source: The Cable

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