Diri, Niger Delta youths reject 3% for host communities in PIB
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has warned that the definition of the host community in the Petroleum Industry Bill as passed by the National Assembly is a time bomb if not properly addressed.
He also restated the position of governors of the southern states that it was an injustice to allot three per cent of oil revenue for the host communities that bear the brunt of exploration and exploitation activities.
Diri spoke on Tuesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television breakfast current affairs programme, Sunrise Daily.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Daniel Alabrah, the governor said prior to the southern governors’ meeting in Lagos, the states had been consulting with relevant stakeholders on their position, which he said, remained a minimum of 10 per cent for oil-producing communities.
He said it was unthinkable and unacceptable to people of the South that a provision of 30 per cent profit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was inserted in the controversial bill for frontier exploration in areas that were not clearly specified.
Diri, who frowned on the definition of oil-producing communities and host communities to include areas where pipelines are laid, insisted on the reversal of such a proposal, saying it was a time bomb that could create avoidable crises if not properly addressed.
Responding to a question on open grazing, Diri described cattle rearing as a private business that the states have the power to regulate, stressing that there was no going back on the open grazing ban in Bayelsa, which he said, was no longer sustainable.
BESIDES, a coalition of Niger Delta youth groups has dared the Federal Government to implement the three per cent approved for host communities in the PIB, maintaining that if implemented, the nation’s economy would suffer incalculable harm.
The youths rejected the three per cent for host communities, lamenting that the PIB was a fraud and coup against the oil-producing communities and the Niger Delta people.
They made the threat yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, adding that what would happen if the Federal Government insist on having its way would exceed the #EndSARS protests.
Convener of the coalition, Solomon Lenu, who is also the spokesman of the Ogoni Development Drive (ODD) urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign the bill and canvassed an urgent review of the PIB to reflect the views of the host communities.
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