Vanguard had exclusively reported yesterday that the National Assembly had, among other issues, proposed to remove the host communities’ fund in a new petroleum industry bill, now known as Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB. Also, some members of the House of Representatives and prominent citizens from the Niger Delta, including Chief Ayiri Emami, Senator Roland Owie and Senator Anietie Okon, flayed the move by the National Assembly, describing it as capable of returning restiveness to the region.
Reacting to the development, National Chairman, Host Communities of Nigeria, Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, Dr. Mike Emuh, said: “The 10 per cent equity was an executive proposal in the original bill expected to be paid by prospecting oil companies to the host communities; it is not government money. “It is the best tool in favour of host communities in the history of oil production in Nigeria. So if the federal government proposed such in favour of host communities, why should the National Assembly abort it? Are they trying to cause renewed crisis between the communities and oil companies?” He said HOSTCOM was grateful to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration which proposed the 10 per cent equity, adding that the National Assembly needed to toe the path of progress and pass the bill with this provision intact for the host communities. “That bill has been with the NASS for eight years. They must not give the impression that the HOSTCOM fund is the contentious content that has made it impossible for them to pass the bill for so long because that is what their action now implies. “They should not create chaos. NASS should reverse that decision within 14 days. We don’t want our children, our people to react in unpleasant manner before they redress this anomaly,” the HOSTCOM leader added.
Source Vanguard NG