The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) says the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) should formally address issues between International Oil Companies and their host communities.
Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman, MOMAN said on Friday in Lagos that this would help to curb oil theft, pipeline vandalism and reduce the cost of crude oil production.
Oyebanji noted that the recent Public Hearing on the PIB, conducted by the National Assembly, was a step in the right direction.
He expressed optimism that the bill would soon be passed into law.
He said: “The PIB is looking at what the share of the host communities will be and if you make a law stating what will be provided for host communities, incidents of pipeline vandalism and oil theft will reduce.
“The PIB should formalise the relationship between the IOCs and host communities.
“Presently, what we find is that the oil companies, especially IOCs, are taxed with the petroleum profit tax and other royalties which are very substantial.
“So, when the host communities go and meet them for assistance, they will decline because they feel they are paying so much in royalties and taxes to the government.
“They expect the government to provide infrastructure such as schools and hospitals to these host communities.
“But the host communities will be confronting the companies because they are the ones on ground, carrying out production activities.’’
According to him, by the time the burden of taxes, royalties and taking care of the host communities are put on the IOCs, it will drive up the cost of oil production in the country.
“These are some of the things driving up the cost of production which makes it unattractive at the end of the day.
“So, the people who have choices and alternatives on where to go and invest their money will simply go to other countries to invest,’’ Oyebanji said.
He also said that there was a need for further engagement of all stakeholders in the industry.
MOMAN chairman noted that this would ensure that the PIB, when passed into law, would achieve its goals for the sector