‘Petroleum laws not in favour of host communities’
The speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, has lamented that the laws backing the activities of multinational oil companies have never favoured the host communities in the state.
The speaker stated this when members of the House passed a resolution directing the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR) to immediately enter a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) with its host communities in Ahoada East, Abua/Odual and Emuoha local government areas of the state.
The speaker stressed the need to review the laws to favour oil communities.
The resolution was as a result of the recommendations of the House Committee on Public Complaints, which investigated a petition of neglect against the NDPR by the affected communities .
The House further resolved that the recommendations of the Committee should form the bedrock for drafting the GMOU pointing out that the composition of the members of the Board Of Trustees (BOT) should be the people from the host communities.
Debating on the report of the Committee, lawmakers in their various submissions decried the way and manner the NDPR neglected the host communities despite their pitiable conditions.
They also maintained that the key solution to the problems is the establishment of a GMOU, which should among other things, address the individual needs of each community.
The affected communities include; Obumeze, Ogbehe and Oshiugbokor in Ahoad East. Others are Otari in Abua/Odual local Government and Rumuekpe in Emuoha.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), Dr. Mike Emuh said 800 youths drawn from six states of the South south region are to be trained as para-military, to provide tactical and intelligence surveillance to stop all forms of menace associated with illegal oil bunkering and it dare consequences in the environments and ecosystem
Emuh stated this at the opening ceremony of the training at the National Youth Service Corps, Orientation Camp in Nonwa Gbam, Tai Local Government Area of the state , adding that the training would last for two weeks and men of the Joint Military Task force and tactical units of other security agencies of the government are at hand to train them.
He said the training is an automatic ticket for a secured job with mouth watering incentives for the youths which would improve their economic and social statues and that of their families and subsequently bring to an end the hydra headed problems associated with pipeline vandalizium in the region.
The retired Soldier said that the oil and gas pipeline has been at the mercy of criminals and expressed the hope with the takeover of the surveillance responsibility by the host communities, oil and gas criminalities in the region would be a thing of the past.
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