By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€”Â Â SPECULATIONS that the ten percent equity proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, for oil communities in the Niger Delta would tear the communities apart have been described as misplaced.
Speaking at a round table organized by Emerald Energy Centre of Petroleum Economics, Policy and Strategic Studies, at the Institute of Petroleum Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Bio L. Nyananyo, in his presentation, said proponents of such fears lacked good knowledge of the host communities.
According to him, these communities are closely knit and would not in any way destroy what will provide gainful employment for their people.
He said: â€œMany commentators have come up with the false impression that the host communities cannot handle this huge sum as this will tear them apart.
â€œThis is wrong and unacceptable. It shows lack of understanding of the various host communities. The host communities are close knit and not as amorphous as the states. It is this understanding that made it possible for them to have a common front to wrestle out ten percent.â€
He made reference to Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, that is being managed by the oil producing communities in Delta State.
According to him, fund for the commission is being managed by the oil communities in the state.
Prof Bio said the PIB was a product of series of protests from oil communities, adding that the federal government was forced by these protests to set up the oil and gas reform implementation committee.