By Michael Eboh
Oil-producing communities under the auspices of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSCON, yesterday, said they had had drawn up a template to be presented to the Federal Government, for the management of the 13 per cent Derivation Fund.
In an interview with Vanguard in Abuja, National Chairman of HOSCON, Mr. Mike Emuh, said the presidency had mandated the group to come up with the template for the management of the Fund which would soon be removed from the hands of state governors.
He added that the Presidency had also directed oil-producing communities to appoint 10 members from each of the oil-producing states, to be inaugurated as Federal Commissioners to manage the 13 per cent derivation fund.
These, according to Emuh, informed the decision of oil-producing communities to endorse President MuhammedBuhari for a second term in office, especially going by his good works in the Niger Delta and his approval for the release of the gas flare penalty money and award of pipeline surveillance contract to the host communities.
He said, “Buhari’s approval of those things was not mere campaign promises. We applied, and we told him the aims and objectives of our decision to visit him. He invited us, we went; we made presentations and he accepted us.
“As we are talking, he has set up a committee in this regards. Towards that, we were asked to submit the template for the 13 per cent derivation by nominating 10 persons from each of the oil producing states to be inaugurated as Federal Commissioners to manage the 13 per cent derivation funds.”
Emuh noted that HOSCON had commenced t he screening of individuals for the position of Federal Commissioners and had already started the submission of names to the Presidency.
He called on all indigenes of the Niger Delta to support President MuhammaduBuhari in the elections and beyond.
He said, “The fact remains that the only administration that has recognised HOSCON is President Buhari. As I am talking to you today, things we were denied in the past 20 to 30 years, are the things he has approved and has gone ahead to set up committees to address others.
We are talking about the issue of the gas flare penalty money, pipeline surveillance contract for 10,000 youths in the Niger Delta and 13 per cent derivation.
“Whatever we recommended had been approved. The Ogoni cleanup he promised is ongoing now; as well as a lot of things we can point to across all the country. Those are the motivation for our decision to support Buhari.”
He further stated that HOSCON condemned the planned sale of the country’s refineries and oil assets, noting that the previous sales of the country’s assets were not utilized for the benefit of oil-producing communities and the country in general.