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Pay oil derivation funds to communities – HOSTCOM

By Emma Arubi
WARRI—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been called upon to support the passage of the Bill authorising the payment of derivation funds directly to oil commissions and oil producing communities.

The National Coordinator of the Oil and Gas Host Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM, Bishop Mike Emuh, made the appeal inWarri, Delta State, yesterday, adding that the passage of the Bill will go a long way is assuaging the oppressed majority of Niger Delta people.

He said that the direct allocation of oil  funds to the oil agencies and producing communities will help in restoring the region on the path of peace and development.

Emuh, who was apparently setting agenda for the visit of President Jonathan, who is billed to pay a one day official visit to Delta State, tomorrow, said his position was in tandem with the Bill presented by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to the National Economic Council in March 2011.

It will be recalled that the bill by RMAFC called for the direct allocation of oil funds to the communities through the oil various commissions and asked oil producing states yet to establish such agency to quickly follow the examples of Edo, Ondo, Delta, Imo and Abia States.

Those yet to establish oil commission to administer the derivation funds include Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Bayelsa States.

RMAFC is in the Bill,  advocating the provision of 10 percent of oil revenue to the oil and gas host communities while the 10 percent of the existing 13 percent is to be allocated directly to the oil commissions established by the various states of the oil-rich region.

According to Sub-section 1 (c) of the bill, 10 percent of the derivation funds will be distributed among the host communities based on a formula to be prescribed by the State Houses of Assembly.

Emuh said early passage of the Bill initiated by RMAFC,  will guarantee the security of oil and gas facilities and unhindered operations by the oil majors and their service companies in the Niger Delta.

“Our people see the passage of the RMAFC Bill and its assent into law as long overdue and we appeal to our son, President Jonathan, to do us this special favour, which will help improve the security situation in the oil industry in the Niger Delta.

“The bill is the antidote to the crisis in Niger Delta, because it will ensure uninterrupted oil exploitation and exploration. Since the oil communities are expected to benefit from the oil revenue, the indigenes are committed to safeguarding oil facilities. No right thinking man will destroy his own property,” he added.


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