Federal Government planned to spend N6.201bn on an awareness campaign for the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The objective of the nationwide campaign is to increase public understanding of the Bill's provisions and mobilise support for its speedy passage by the Nigerian parliament. According to news reports, the sum of N110.87m has been released and expended as of November 2012, leaving a balance of N6.09bn.
Now, the question is: How (and on what) is the Ministry of Petroleum Resources spending the funds budgeted for this campaign? How many sensitization meetings have been conducted across the country (as budgeted)? What steps have been taken to clarify the key provisions of the Bill, especially the controversial sections such as the Petroleum Host Community Trust Fund which continue to attract criticism for failing to establish a clear administrative framework? What efforts have been made to engage and assuage the civil society, critical stakeholders and generality of Nigerians who staged massive protests in January 2012 following the government's abrupt withdrawal of fuel subsidy?To what extent does the PIB address the range of policy and regulatory issues that triggered the January uprising?
Across several local and international news sites are sponsored personalized (supposedly PIB) ads steeped in unashamed narcissism. None of the ads attempt to explain what the PIB is about, but rather, seem determined to litter online spaces with vile adulations and nothing more!
We present the evidence (sourced from a variety of websites) to you and leave you to decide whether the N6 BILLION Naira PIB campaign fund is being spent appropriately or inappropriately. And what are the consequences?