Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives witnessed a rowdy session on Thursday as members, especially those from the South-South geopolitical zone, protested against the reduction in the amount allocated to host communities as contained in the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB).
The Niger Delta lawmakers rose during plenary, and shouted at the top of their voices, saying, “Give us five per cent; give us five percent.” The members continued their protests until the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, led principal officers into the chamber at about 12noon.
As the noise continued even as he, Gbajabiamila, said the opening prayers, and asked that the chamber and the gallery be cleared for an executive (closed-door) session. The two chambers of the National Assembly, NASS, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, had passed the PIB on Thursday last week, approving three per cent and five per cent, respectively. They later, set up conference committees to harmonise the differences in the versions of the PIB.
Although, the conference committee had not laid its report, there were indications that the lawmakers have information that three per cent was mutually recommended, hence the protests.