Metro & Crime

PIB: 2.5% for host communities not acceptable – Diri

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the 2.5 per cent revenue proposed for host communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was grossly inadequate and unacceptable to the people of the Niger Delta.
Diri stated this on Tuesday during a town hall meeting on the bill with members of the National Assembly and stakeholders in Yenagoa.
The governor, who proposed that 10 per cent be provided for host communities, contended that if National Assembly members see first hand the level of environmental degradation and its attendant effects on the people, they would not hesitate to increase it from 10 per cent.
The governor, in a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, stressed that the PIB was critical in addressing issues such as unemployment, lack of transparency in the oil and gas sector, militarisation of oil production, skills acquisition and marginalisation of oil producing states.
His words: “I restate our earlier submission that the 2.5 per cent proposed for the oil producing communities is grossly inadequate and unacceptable to us as a people. In our proposal to you, we asked for 10 per cent for the host communities.
“When you visit some of the sites where oil is being explored; that bring multi-million dollars to this country, you will even agree with me that we should increase it further from 10 per cent.
“This PIB would cure the unemployment that the oil producing communities cry about. This bill would create jobs, accelerate skills acquisition and remove the opacity that we are seeing today in the oil and gas industry. The whole industry is shrouded somehow in secrecy.”
In his speech, Deputy Chairman, House Ad Hoc Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill, Victor Nwokolo, said the PIB was from the executive arm, aimed at reforming the oil and gas industry.
He promised that they work hard to ensure passage of the bill before the end of May this year.
In his presentation, Chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, represented by the Ibedaowei of Ekpetiama Clan, King Bubaraye Dakolo, recommended that the bill takes into consideration environmental pollution, particularly gas flaring, and ensure inclusion of rights of host communities.
He also expressed hid displeasure with the provision of the bill making the people responsible for protecting oil facilities, saying that the provision had already criminalised them.

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