PANDEF, host communities reject PIB, insist on 10% equity

Written by on July 13, 2021

Elder Statesman and leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, has again drawn attention to the injustice contained in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill.

He said the fragile peace in the region may not be guaranteed if provisions of the bill were allowed to become law.

He spoke while receiving the Benjamin Tamanarebi-led Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas group in his Abuja residence.

Clark cautioned that anything short of 10 percent of the annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream petroleum operations as contribution to the Host Communities Trust Fund, was unacceptable.

The elder statesman said, “We are not second class citizens in this country. I discovered that everything was manipulated in the PIB by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

“We want to be part of the operation, let us be part of what is going on in our area which is killing us, our ecosystem, our fishes. I have had enough of these insults. The Federal Government must account for who are the owners of oil blocs and who are the marketers.

“The equity share must be 10 per cent for host communities and we will continue to reject it until they make us part of it.”

He said, ‘’More vexatious is not considering the critical areas in the clauses regarding the host communities as the above subject refers.

“Host communities inputs of critical areas in the passed bill as submitted on the floor of public hearing in both houses Adhoc joint committees, even during the Town Hall meetings of both Houses, were criminally jettisoned, depriving the communities of their participatory rights and sustainable development.

“More so, the immoral and secret importation of draconic clauses into the enacted PIB in the aspect that affects us as follows:

‘’That the report of the Senate joint Committee, especially the aspect concerning section 234, deals with the Host Communities Sustainable Development title, while 234(4d) deal with the Objectives regarding the Trust Fund was wholly jettisoned.

“What was the justification for inviting only the industry players without the host communities to review the PIB for passage if it was to ensure transparency, efficient legal framework, good governance, accountability and industry sustainable development for a favorable working environment?”

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