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Niger Delta groups task Buhari on review of PIA

By Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt) and Cornelius Essen (Abuja)
23 September 2021   |   3:02 am
A Niger Delta group, the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the demands of host communities and the Niger Delta region

Muhammadu Buhari

As Ogoni demand 25% derivation

A Niger Delta group, the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the demands of host communities and the Niger Delta region, as he seeks amendment to the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The group requested that the three per cent host community fund be increased to at least five per cent, adding that the amendment of the new law was expected because, after 13 years, the National Assembly passed it after 35 days of its amendment.

Reacting to the planned amendment of the PIA yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, it’s Executive Director, Fyneface Dumnamene, charged the National Assembly to consider and approve the amendments sought by the President without further delay.

Insisting that the lawmakers failed to do a thorough job on the law, he said: “This was noticed when public inputs into the Bill were skewed with little for experts during public hearings and collating of memoranda that were not reviewed and their suggestions are taken into consideration to improve the law.

Similarly, Chairman of Coalition of Rivers Oil and Gas Host Communities, Barituka Loanyie, restated that the PIA sent to the House of Representatives for amendment, was a clear testament that it was hurriedly passed and signed just to tickle the fancy of the executive arm of government.

ALSO, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has saluted the courage and decision of the Federal Government to send the PIA to the National Assembly for amendment.

Its President, Fegalo Nsuke, stated this while speaking with The Guardian, saying: “We hope that President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention is to address the concerns of oil communities whose interests were shortchanged in the Act?”

Nsuke urged the parliament to prove it represents the Nigerian people indeed by proposing changes that don’t only serve the interest of Shell, the oil industry, any particular ethnic groups but also accommodate the oil communities.

“`We are making the appeal because over decades, there are people whose lives and future have been significantly altered by the operations of multinational oil companies. Therefore, Ogoni people demand 25 per cent derivation.

He maintained that MOSOP considered the three per cent operating cost recommended in the Act as repressive and discriminatory, especially when compared to the recommendations of the Solid Minerals Act, which benefitted non- oil-producing communities.

He, however, stressed that the Ogoni were confident that the operations of the Ogoni Development Authority would pave the way for a new era of cooperation and a friendly business environment between the Federal Government and the people.

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