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Mitee, others seek merging of solid minerals act with PIB

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Ledum Mitee of the Ogoni people

Host communities tackle minister over 3% equity
Former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, has canvassed the merging of the PIB with the Solid Minerals Act to address the concerns of host communities.

Mitee, a former chairman of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said the merger would effectively address environmental, developmental and ownership concerns of host communities without bias.

He stated this at a one-day summit organised by the Coalition of Rivers Oil and Gas Host Communities in Port Harcourt yesterday with the theme: Creating A Practical Template Towards Managing The Challenges In Oil And Gas Host Communities.

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In his address read by Chairman of the coalition, Barituka Loanyie, he said the PIB recently passed into law at the National Assembly should be rejected because it would deny communities the right to their property.

“Unlike the PIB where decisions are solely made by the minister, the commission or the authority, the Solid Minerals Acts envisages an arrangement that involves the federal, state, local government and communities.

“It provides for consultation with landlords even before the grant of mining title to mining companies. Therefore, we must reject the bill whose cure is worse than our ailments.

“We should rather mobilise our people to support merger of the community provisions of the PIB with the Solid Minerals Act into a single extractive resources community development bill, which would align and address the environmental, developmental and ownership concerns of host communities in a non-discriminatory manner,” he added.

MEANWHILE, Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) and other stakeholders from the Niger Delta have expressed displeasure with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, over his argument that anything more than three per cent equity share for host communities will scare away investors.

Sylva had in a report said it was the reason the host communities could not have more than three per cent in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which was passed by the National Assembly.

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National Technical Chairman of HOSTCOM, Chief George Bucknor, in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, noted that Sylva was economical with the truth by trying to justify the reduction of equity stake holding in the 2021 PIB from 10 per cent, as published in some national dailies on August 7, 2021.

He described the minister’s comment that giving the host communities more than three percent would scare investors away scare investors away from the oil and gas industry in Nigeria as ‘reckless.’

Bucknor, vowed that leaders of the oil-bearing communities would do everything possible within the ambit of the law to protect themselves against enslavement and further devastation of their domains and ancestral homes.

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