By Osaigbovo Iguobaro
Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide has cleared the misconception about the 30 Frontier Basin Fund in the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA in reaction to concerns raised by conspiracy theorists against the piece of legislation.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2021, assented to the Petroleum Industry Bill, which was passed by the 9th National Assembly.
He said, the 30 percent profit from Frontier Basin Fund, is not meant for the Northern Nigeria alone as it was peddled around.
Urhoghide, the Senator representing Edo South Senatorial district disclosed this during a chat at Correspondents’ Chapel Forum of Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
“First, the misconception that it will be used in the north is not correct. So, there are new areas in where frontier basins have been existing that were not being explored for oil before now; those are what we call the new acreages that are opening within existing frontier basins and that is what the money will be used for. Again, that money is an investment and not a commitment; it is a business venture NNPC Ltd.
“NNPC Ltd is just one business entity owned by the government but it is fully commercialized and that is why we are saying who do we vest NNPC Ltd on, is it the federal ministry of finance, people have come up with or proposed that is should be vested in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) because the NSIA is doing a lot of infrastructural development. NSIA is taking money from outside Nigerian shores.
“They are pockets of places scattered around the country where there are prospective oil. These frontier basins are not limited to chad basins, we have over six basins including Anambra basin, there is one in Kwara and Gombe States.
“For instance, Anambra basin is in Anambra and we have been hearing of crude oil in Anambra State, also there are crude oil deposits in Ebony state. So, these states put together are called Anambra basin.”