Mr. Philip Gbasin, Director Projects, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, has said that the reduction of insecurity and vandalism of oil assets in the Niger Delta region, will be dependent on the passage of the Host Communities bill, now before the National Assembly.
Gbasin explained that of the three bills from the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, before the National Assembly, it is the Host Communities Bill that provides the legal framework for partnership between the oil bearing communities and the international oil companies.
Speaking at his office in Warri, Delta State, while fielding questions from newsmen, Gbasin charged the National Assembly to do the needful by giving the desired attention to pass the second phase of PIGB, which is the Host Communities bill.
He said: “There is need for the National Assembly to look into the Host Communities bill assiduously, which is the social licence that will guarantee the stoppage of vandalism and reduce insecurity because the host communities will see the oil companies as their own.”
He said that if that was done and the goodwill of the people secured, there will be smooth operation in the oil industries.
Gbasin tasked the oil bearing communities to make their inputs into the Host Communities bill before the National Assembly through the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum, PANDEF, “For us to have a unified voice and not wait for the bill to be passed, so that we do not cry foul at last.”
He expressed optimism that if the Host Communities bill is passed, it would give opportunities for stakeholders to fully participate and legally guarantee communities to be involved in their development model.
He urged federal lawmakers that are not in states and areas that produces oil not to be a clog in the wheel of progress, stressing that the former Minister of Petroleum, late Ralwan Lukman a Northerner saw the need for prudent and accountable management of funds from IOC’s and also proffer solutions to the frequent clashes between Host communities and oil companies through a bill in the National Assembly.