By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”DELTA and Edo States Houses of Assembly have been urged to, without delay, start re-evaluation of the functioning laws of Delta State Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) and the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOPADEC) to make both commissions serve the needs of the host communities more effectively.
The suggestion was given by participants at a two-day capacity building workshop organised by African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), with support from Heinrich Boell Foundation (HBF), Nigeria.
The essence of the workshop was how to engage relevant government agencies, particularly the oil commissions to ensure proper use of oil revenue to better the lives of the people of the Niger-Delta.
In a communiquÃ© signed byÂ Innocent I. Edemhanria, representing ANEEJ, Mr. Benjamin Iwetan Chairman, Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCON), Delta State chapter, Aiyeki Okpamen, public relations officer, HOSTCON,Â Edo State Chapter andÂ Mary Fuludu (Niger Delta Women Forum), the participants called for the increase of derivation formula from the current 13 per cent to 50 per cent.
According to the communiquÃ©, â€œthe federal government should pay adequate compensation to all communities destroyed during the military raid on the Niger Delta and immediately rehabilitate all displaced families.
â€œGovernments should involve citizens and the civil society in particular in budget processes. The oil commissions should put their budgets in the public and stop making it a secret document.
â€œCivil society should mobilize massively to hold governments at all levels to account. The docility of civil society has been largely responsible for the plundering of oil resources.
â€œThe South-South governors should carry host communities producing oil and gas along in their negotiations and agitations and the Ministry of Niger Delta should commence full operations without further delayâ€.