By George Onah
Port Harcourt—Following the end of the three-day First Port Harcourt International Summit on Oil and Gas, participants have called on the Federal Government to grant the city an export processing zone status with all the attendant rights and privileges.
In the communique, Wednesday, the summit participants also called on the Federal Government to grant Rivers State the right of equity participation in the gas processing plant to be sited in the state.
According to the communique by Chairman, Technical Documentation Committee Mr. Don Boham and MD, Treasure Energy Dr. Eddie Wikina, the participants recommended that the state should begin a process of setting up an energy policy and consider appropriate institutional framework for its implementation.
“The state should go beyond an energy policy to an integrated policy which would attract knowledge-based and technology-driven industries into the state and develop the SME sector to serve as engine of economic growth in the state by auxiliary and support services to international oil companies (IOCS) under the NCD Act 2010”
Tagged “sustainable Energy Economy for Rivers State “, it drummed support for the state to develop an energy plan for the state, however, the group said the plan should be comprehensive and all embracing and geared towards bringing maximum benefits to the state under the New Nigerian Content Development (NCD0 Act 2010 and other extant legislations in the country.
Again, the communique called on governors of other oil producing states to undertake a thorough study of the Petroleum Industry Bill with a view to identifying its implications for oil producing communities and states.
The participants called on the National Assembly to take into consideration, the concerns and views of oil communities on the PIB, enshrine the 10 percent equity for the host communities into the PIB and amend the Land Use Act to return community to land and its resources.