….Reject Frontier Basins
By Dayo Johnson
OIL producing communities in Ondo State, yesterday, described the three per cent provided for the host communities and the 30 per cent for exploration of oil in the Northern part of the country in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, passed by the National Assembly, as an open invitation to anarchy.
Chairman of the Niger-Delta Youth movement, NDYM, in Ondo State, Mr. Akin Omojuwa, said: “The five percent initially canvassed for was rejected as small. Cutting it down to three per cent is unimaginable and unacceptable.
“Communities which own the resource suffer the devastation caused by oil exploration and exploitation, and they deserved a better deal than the three per cent.
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“Should the National Assembly fail to do the needful, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari, who has proven to be passionate about Niger Delta issues, to insist that the three per cent be reviewed upward to 10 per cent before signing the bill into law.
“Youths in the Niger Delta region have rejected the provision of the three per cent equity stake for the host communities in the just-passed controversial bill, it is unacceptable.”
Also, the chairman of Federation of Ugbo kingdom Youths Association in Ilaje, Mr. Samson Ewajane said: “The idea of PIB as championed by the discontent host communities, having been reduced to a hen that lays the golden egg but has nothing to show for it, is a call to have a tripartite equity sharing amongst the Federal Government, multinationals and the host communities to give back to the hosts.
“As far as I am concerned, on the issue of percentage, it’s better to start with something than nothing. If spent judiciously, we can advocate for increment.
“Frontier Basins are not acceptable and it’s a deliberate act on the part of the Northerners to kill the long-awaited passage of the PIB and frustrate the host communities on their legitimate right.
Similarly, a community leader, Mr. Lawson Akintokun said: “The action of the ninth Assembly amounted to a betrayal of trust as they have failed in their responsibility to adequately represent their people in the face of the deplorable conditions of Niger Delta vis-a-vis the environmental degradation of the communities.
“It is worthy of note that no amount of money is too much for the development of the region, as the areas are known for their backwardness in terms of infrastructure.”