Turkana allocated double Uhuru oil cash offer in bill
Kenya has made a U-turn and allocated the community surrounding Turkana oilfields a 10 per cent share of oil revenues, double what President Uhuru Kenyatta had earlier directed.
The amended Petroleum Bill entitles the community to 10 per cent of government oil revenues, and a further 20 per cent to the county government in whose jurisdiction the crude deposits lie.
Kenya has struck 750 million barrels of crude in Turkana, considered commercially viable, with further exploration ongoing but production is yet to begin.
The proposed law is expected to pacify Turkana leaders who had bitterly protested the decision by Mr Kenyatta to retain the community share at five per cent contrary to demands to have it doubled.
“The local community’s share shall be equivalent to 10 per cent of the government’s share and shall be payable to a trust fund managed by a board of trustees established by the county government in consultation with the local community,” reads the bill that was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.
In October last year, President Kenyatta rejected the push to double the community fortune, arguing that the share increase would result in a windfall to the locals more than they would be able to use.
Another sweetener for Turkana is the removal of limits to the amount of petrodollars the county is entitled to as proposed in the original deal.
The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill sponsored by Majority Leader Aden Duale has removed the condition stating that the oil cash due to the county government should not exceed twice the county’s budgetary allocation in a financial year.
“The amount shared shall be exclusive of the amount allocated by the National Assembly in the financial year,” says the proposed law.
It has also done away with the provision that the revenue due to the local community should not exceed a quarter of the amount due to the county government in a financial year.
Had the original bill remained unchanged, it would mean that if a county government with crude deposits is allocated Sh10 billion in a financial year, its share of the oil revenues would not exceed Sh20 billion and the community’s share not be more than Sh2.5 billion.