The government has given in to demands by Turkana leaders and agreed to have the local community get 10 per cent of the revenue from oil that comes from their areas.

MPs have also been handed the powerful role of approving the contracts between the government and the oil companies and will also be required to undertake public participation before they decide to approve or reject the deals.

The proposals are contained in the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill published on September 25 and taken through the First Reading in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

DEADLOCK
This proposal is expected to break a deadlock between the national government and the leaders from the area, represented by MPs in Parliament, who had engineered an increase from the five per cent in the original bill.
The matter had caused conflict between President Uhuru Kenyatta and leaders from Turkana when he rejected the bill in October last year.

President Kenyatta had argued that increasing the share of revenue due to the local communities would result in them getting more money than they would be able to use.

But the matter acquired a political dimension as the MPs insisted that the rates should be what they had set in the National Assembly and keen not to stir the political waters ahead of the election, the government backed off.

An additional sweetener for the local communities is the removal of the limit proposed in the original bill.

The government has removed the cap that the share for the county government should not exceed twice the amount allocated to the county in the financial year.