By Anny Michaels
Distinguished Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA), Chairman Senate Committe on Petroleum Resources Upstream says in addition to the 3 percent provided for the host Communities in the recently assented Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by President Buhari, poceeds from penalities for gas flaring as equally provided for by the laws of Nigeria will complement the derivable benefits to better the lots of host Communities .
Albert who was honoured Monday 13th Dec, 2021 as the first Distinguished Alumni Lecturer by the faculty of Social Sciences, University of Uyo with the theme – Oil, Gas and Politics: Unbundling the conundrum for National Developnent added that his Committees on Gas Resources in the 8th Senate and that of petroleum Resources Upstream in the 9th Senate influence have brought about an increase to 75 percent of the gas flaring penalty from N10 as it were.
OBA as he is fondly called commended the 19th GMD of NNPC Mr Mele Kolo Kyari for the tremendous efforts at making the organisation add value to our polity but noted that NNPC can no longer run as a corporation as it should rather operate as a limited liability Company to add more value to Nigerian economy by also paying tax and meet other social responsibilities to Nigerians.
Senator Albert who is also the Leader of Akwa Ibom Caucus in the National Assembly also said that before his coming as Chairman Senate Committe on Gas Resources operating cost kept rising for oil companies steadily till it got to N10m and it took his Committee 3 years to achieve ending the over a decade rift between NNPC/Chevron in the Escravous project with a win win situation of 60 percent to NNPC and 40percent to Chevron which warranted his being honoured by NNPC on the approval of President Muhamnadu Buhari on 20th January, 2020 in Abuja. He added that Chevron also invited him overseas to also honour him in view of the pleasant development..
He said the rift could not be sorted out by the 6th and 7th Senate as Nigerians were least aware of the huge benefits that could come from the project going by the initial 25 percent share to NNPC and 75 percent to Chevron.
He assured that he will continue to sustain his all school expense Scholarship that has costed him from his personal income over N100m so far. He said he will soon release N12m for payment of fees of his scholarship beneficiaries for the on-going second semester.
He charged the students and graduates to take advantage of his ICT hub located at his Event centre at Ifa Ikot Akpan, Uyo to benefit from the on going robust training at the centre to enable them generate income for themselves which is a global trend now in ICT.
The well attended public lecture had Prof Akpan Hogan Ekpo as Chairman, Prof Chris Ekong, other academics within the Social Sciences faculty and University of Uyo, students of the university and members of the Public.