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Okowa seeks 15% fund for oil-producing communities


Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State

As a way of addressing the plight of oil producing communities, DELTA State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has proposed the setting aside of 15 per sent of fund payable to oil host-communities as endowment as against the 20 per cent provided in the proposed Host Community Bill.

Okowa, who spoke yesterday at an interactive session between the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill and Oil Producing and Impacted Communities in the Delta State, said the proposed bill had failed to make provision for administrative costs in the management of such endowment funds, adding that instead, 15 per cent of whatever amount that would be accruable to the communities should left for the future.He added that the balance of five per cent should be deployed for administration of the trust fund.

The Delta State governor said the draft of the constitution that would govern the activities of the host-communities and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) must be supervised by the Federal Government to make it binding.

While thanking the committee for visiting the various oil-impacted communities to see the impact of devastation and lauding those who made contributions to the bill, the governor said that the host-communities must take charge of projects to be executed in the area and consult with the IOCs in the appointment of funds trust committee members, among other proposals.

The governor said though the host-communities have as responsibility to protect the oil facilities, it was incumbent for the oil companies to include them in their facility surveillance team to avoid conflict of interest.

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Ifeanyi Okowa.
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