Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Thursday, advocated that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), currently before the National Assembly, should allocate 10 per cent oil revenue to host communities.
Wike made the call when members of the National Assembly Committee on PIB visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said it was necessary that the bill specified, in clear terms, developmental projects that the allotted fund should be spent on, to actualise the goal and demands of the host communities.
The governor said that oil-bearing communities have suffered the loss of livelihood due to the activities of international oil companies (IOCs).
“It is unfortunate that people produce oil but live in poverty. I believe that the PIB committee will make recommendations of how certain per cent must be given to the host communities.
“There are issues of education and health, so don’t just say 10 per cent to the oil host communities, it must be tied to specific projects so that whoever is in charge will take note of them,” he said.
Wike urged IOCs not to engage host communities in the sharing of funds to avoid their killing one another instead of using such funds for sustainable projects.
He advised that the mistakes associated with the Act establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) be avoided as it did not specify what projects the commission should embark on in the Niger Delta.
He emphasised the need for the PIB bill, when passed, to be signed and not go the way of the Electoral Bill that has yet to be assented to.
The governor urged the National Assembly Committee on PIB to ensure that the bill was signed to move the country forward.
Mr Victor Onyemaechi, Deputy Chairman of the committee who led the delegation, said that the members were in Rivers for a town hall meeting with stakeholders to resolve issues of what should be allocated to host communities in the bill.
He said that a lot of people were misinformed about host communities, associating them with hostility.
“What we have seen in the last four days have proved people wrong. As we walked round these few days, we saw that people use wood as the bridge to get to where Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is exploring oil.
“We also saw the impact of SPDC operations on the people’s means of livelihood.
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...
INVESTIGATION…PARKVIEW ESTATE: Exclusive images of how billionaire property developer incurred Lagos govt‘s anger
Many have seen the demolished building, but not many know the circumstances that led to the teardown of the about...
INVESTIGATION… N.3bn down the drain, as Enugu communities suffer from dry taps
In November 2020, three organizations and the Enugu State government celebrated the completion of N300 million worth of projects that were expected...
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....