By Perez Brisibe
NIGER Delta activist, AnnKio Briggs has described the position of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva position on the 2.5 percent for host communities as proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB as a “political talk.”
The minister while speaking to journalists after the end of the two-day public hearing on the proposed bill by the Senate panel, had faulted the argument of the oil communities’ leaders stating that the “2.5 per cent as proposed in the bill is fair saying, “If you have to look at it properly, you will see that 10 per cent in profit is different from 10 per cent of the Opex (operating expenditure).”
Reacting to the position of the minister, Briggs said: “Timipre Sylva’s position on the 2.5 percent for host communities in the PIB is political talk.
How can we go from 10percent to 2.5percent? And this is coming from my brother who is from a host community. The whole thing just doesn’t make sense meaning it has been politicised.
“And these are the reasons why it seems to host communities are not united. What are the host communities supposed to be united about? The calls for disunity has already been thrown into the host communities.
“When I heard the chairman saying they will visit the host communities and listen and listen to the grievances, you can see how lightly the people at the National Assembly take lightly the issues relating to the host communities.
“Why did you invite the people to Abuja only to tell them to adopt whatever memorandum was placed in front of them, tell them that they should go home that you will visit them.
“Visit them for what? I actually saw this coming when it was thrown in by one of the senators at the hearing who was siding and instigating the communities to insist that the 13percent going to the state governments should come to the host communities despite the fact that it’s 13percent issues are accrued to the state government is a constitutional issue.
“The issue of 10% in the PIB has been bastardized by the entire National Assembly while members from the region at the assembly just sat down and watch is appalling.”