Stakeholders urge N’Delta youths to embrace energy transition
Amid pressure to transit to cleaner fuel, stakeholders have asked the Niger/Delta region to shift attention from total dependence on the proceeds from oil and gas to a diversified economy.
The stakeholders stated this in Abuja at the 2023 oil and gas festival. The industry players called on the oil and gas producing communities in Niger Delta to embrace the Federal Government Energy Transition Plan for development of the region.
The stakeholders said the people of Niger/Delta regions were suffering due to poor management of the 13 per cent derivation meant for oil producing states.
The Convener, Oil and Gas Stakeholders Festival, Faith Wilkinson, speaking at the event titled: “Uniting Stakeholders Road Map for Energy Transition,” urged host communities to embrace prevailing changes.
She said: “I want us as a host community to embrace change. The world is moving from where we are now. We are talking about energy transition, solar energy, green energy, clean energy.
“If the old methods are not working for us, then I think we should begin to embrace change, so that it will be a better host community.”
In his remarks, Minister of Environment, Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, who was represented by Charity Malgwi, stressed the need for environmental sustainability in all sectors.
She said operators must ensure that all potential and associated impacts of development projects, including those in the oil and gas sectors are addressed prior to project commencement to guard against environmental pollution and degradation.
Also speaking, the National Chairman, Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSCON), Mike Emu, asked the Federal Government to establish a 13 per-cent oil derivation presidential implementation committee and allow the host community to nominate people.
He noted that section 132, sub-section 2, cap 39 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, made it very clear that 13 per cent derivation is for the host community.
Emu said: “The Federal Government has tried; there are a number of billions that are in the budget of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Talk about 13 per cent derivation that goes to the Niger Delta, about N40 to N50 billion every month is shared to the government of the oil producing states.
“The three per cent PIA that has been passed into law, has yet to be implemented. I wonder what is actually happening. The people don’t have light. No industry in the whole of the creeks. My concern is that we are not celebrating today. Look at the Naira redesign and the shortage of fuel and price of air transport today. Look at the dilapidated structures all over the country that are subject to rehabilitation.
“I want to say that we will come to celebrate when the people are happy and settled. Our children are not settled, we are having over 42,000 graduates every year from the university and 10,000 youths are not employed. As a father I am worried that my children would sit at home.”
“We must think about diversification from oil and gas to agriculture, we must think about the issue of industrialization, the issue of transformation, transmogrification and so on. The people of the Niger Delta are suffering. Something must be done; the 13 percent derivation should be given to the host communities.”