Published 3 days ago
on January 29, 2021
By The Tide
Leaders of oil host communities in the Niger Delta region and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, have expressed dissenting views over the 10 percent recommendation of profit to be paid to the communities by the late President Shehu Musa Yar’adua.
The opposing views by the leaders of oil host communities who were present in their numbers were triggered by a fresh recommendation in the PIB that 2.5% would be remitted to the host communities against late Yar’adua’s 10% that didn’t see the light of the day.
Late Yar’adua’s administration at the time in the Sixth National Assembly recommended the 10 percent to be paid by oil companies doing businesses in the Niger Delta to mitigate hardships occasioned by oil exploration in the region.
Speaking during the second day at the Public hearing on the Petroleum Industry ill (PIB) in Abuja, the host communities producing oil and Gas also suggested the immediate scrapping of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
NDDC, they maintained, has outlived its usefulness and has been turned into a conduit pipe for the privileged few Niger Deltans, which they added, “the scrapping would pave way for another agency to be created to address the needs of the region.”
The National President of the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas, (HOSTCOM), High Chief Benjamin Style Tams, lamented that all the interventionist agencies established by the Federal Government for the development of host communities had failed.
He insisted that NDDC should be scrapped, adding that it has become a cesspool of corruption, while he recommended the establishment of “Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas Commission.”
“What we want is 10% equity remittance from the various oil firms to respective host communities as proposed in the PIB considered in the 7th National Assembly but not assented to.
“It is even very annoying that having reduced the 10% to 5% in the last bill considered by the 8th National Assembly, it is further slashed to 2.5% in the current bill.
“This is not acceptable to us as host communities of the oil producing firms. The 10% earlier proposed must be worked upon if the bill is to be acceptable to the various communities bearing the brunt”, he fumed.
But speaking further in an interview with the press after the Joint Committee on Public Hearing, the Minister differed, saying:
“I speak advisably as a member of the Host Community myself. If you have to look at it properly, you will see that 10 per cent of profit is different from 10 per cent of the operation cost from the various oil firms.