‘Removal of 10% equity fund from PIB unacceptable’
Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Godwin Uyi Ojo, has condemned the removal of 10 percent equity fund for host communities from the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Ojo spoke at a one-day environmental parliament on the PIB 2016, organised by the environmental rights group.
According to him, civil society groups in the country would mobilise to march to the National Assembly to ensure that the voices of host communities and environmental experts are respected in the legislative process.
The event was held in Yenagoa, the state capital, with a view to seeking the input of experts and draw the attention of participants from several impacted communities in the state.
He called for the support of critical segments as the civil society groups, youth and women, legal experts and the media, among others.
Ojo explained that as major stakeholders in the legislative interactive process, the views of affected community was crucial to achieving a people-friendly PIB.
The rights activist said the parliament is one in a series of continuous engagements, in environmental policy initiatives, to provide technical support and suggestions to lawmakers.
“Historically, the origin of the bill, in its various forms since 200, was to serve as a conflict resolution law, to ensure that the multifaceted problems of the industry were curtailed,” he disclosed.
He added that it was also to address the years of human rights violations and seek justice for the rural folks, who are often the major sufferers of environmental degradation.
He noted, “oil revenue allocations often exclude the rural folks, yet their rivers and farmlands are often contaminated with the attendant impoverishment.”
The activist reiterated the importance of local participation in the allocation and use of oil proceeds for rural development.
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