By Jimitota Onoyume
WARRI—HOST Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, has called for 10 per cent equity for host communities in the Niger Delta region, saying that this will enable the communities to be actively involved in maintaining peace in their areas.
National Chairman of HOSTCOM, Dr Style Benjamin, who spoke yesterday in Warri, Delta State, ahead of the inauguration of the newly elected executive officers coming up in Warri next week, said all that oil communities in the region were asking for was to also be active players in the oil and gas sector of the economy.
“The 10 per cent equity should be given to HOSTCOM. The sharing formula should be 35 per cent to international oil companies, 55 per cent to the Federal Government and 10 per cent to the communities. The existing structure is that the Federal Government takes 60 percent while the oil companies take 40 percent. We think that this review we propose should include oil communities and it will make them to be actively involved in protecting oil facilities,” he said.
The body also called on oil companies and the Federal Government to involve oil communities in oil and gas related projects going on in their areas, noting that at the moment, most communities were shut out of ongoing projects in their domains.
“Host communities are not involved in so many projects going on in their areas. This is creating tension because people are brought from outside while people of the community are left idle. If they are involved, it will be a win win situation for all,” he added.