Niger Delta group canvasses increased resource control
Rivers Commissioner, Ogoni activist disagree on oil talks
Members of Niger Delta and Regional Development Thematic Area have canvassed seven per cent increment of Resource Control for the host communities as contained in the Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA).
The present three percent, according to the group, is no longer satisfactory. It called for a total of 10 per cent as endorsed by the late Nigerian President, Musa Yar’Adua, who originally set up the committee.
The group made the call in a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday titled, “Industry Act: Unfair to the people of Niger Delta” signed by Prof. E.O. Okoro and Dr. Soky Amachree.
“For clarity, we have no interest in government appointments but we are the elite from the region. Three percent in the PIA should be escalated towards 10 per cent of equity shares/participation as carried interest as originally recommended by us in the model apparently accepted by President Musa Yar’Adua; God bless his soul. This way the burden and benefits of uninterrupted oil/gas extraction is shared by all and every shareholder.”
The call, according to the members, has become necessary in view of the hint that government may return the Act to the National Assembly for amendments.
With expectations that the PIA would become law shortly, they urged militants in the Niger Delta area to make their leaders across board accountable.
MEANWHILE, an Ogoni environmental activist, Celestine Akpobari, and the Rivers State Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Fred Kpapol, have disagreed over the choice of Governor Nyesom Wike to lead a multi-consultative forum to discuss with Federal Government on the resumption of crude oil production in OML 11.
While Akpobari faulted the choice of Wike, stating that the governor is an interested party in OML 11 and cannot represent the interest of the Ogonis as he has severally declared that he has acquired the oil well, Kpakol insisted that Wike is in the best choice in interest of Ogoni people.
Akpobari, in an interview with The Guardian yesterday, argued: “The Governor will not represent the interest of Ogoni people because he has been eyeing the oil block, he has stated severally that he has acquired it, so you can’t be a judge in your own case”
But Kpapol, in a statement yesterday, said Ogoni stakeholders strategically chose the governor to lead them because he is one of the most recognised voices in Nigeria that cannot be ignored.
The Commissioner stated this while appearing as a guest on a radio station in Port Harcourt, monitored on Monday.