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Resource Control: Dons call for 10% for host community

Members of Niger Delta and Regional Development Thematic Area have called for the increase of 3 per cent Resource Control for the host communities as contained in the PIA to 10per cent as accepted by the then late President Musa Yar Adua who originally set up the committee.

The duo of Professor E. O. Okoro and Dr Soky Amachree members of the group, who made the call in a statement in Ilorin, said they have no interest in government’s appointments

The statement was titled: “INDUSTRY ACT: Unfair to the people of NIGER DELTA but elites from the region are more to blame.”

According to the statement, ” 3 per cent in the PIA should be escalated towards 10per 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 became necessary because, “Fortunately, there is now some hint government could return the Act to the National Assembly for possible amendments; whether to address these and other wrongs as perceived in the Law remains unclear at this time.

“Unfortunately, after the provision of 10 per cent host community equity participation entered the PIB bill sent to the National Assembly, President Yar’ Ardua became ill and eventually passed away.”

The Don said that their demand for increase is important and legitimate because they are stakeholders, who had worked on the project.

“Specifically, it resulted from our work on a Committee on Niger Delta & Regional Development set up by Mr Musa Yar’ Ardua, then President and C-in-C, to find sustainable solutions for the rapid development of a minority region denied economic justice for so long and to minimize intense agitations at the time disruptive of the oil/gas sector and economy.

“In other words, we are key stakeholders in more than one way in this matter. “They added in the statement.

They claimed that the increase to 10per cent become necessary, “given the quantum of inflow to the region, and the level of development both human and infrastructure, and sordid details emanating from constituted panels and audits, there is little optimism that the provisions of resource allocation to Host Community for development in the PIA as passed would positively impact on the lives of ordinary people in the region.

“Put differently, the more the fortunes of Niger Delta appear to change the more it seems to remain the same.

“As expected genuine stakeholders, ordinary citizens, politicians, agitators, professional trouble makers and others who like to see themselves as champions of the region and their people have been crying foul.”

With the hindsight that the PIA would become the law shortly, they tasked the militants in the Niger Delta areas to make their leaders across board accountable.

“To militants and agitators whose actions created the environment that brought governments at the time to the table to discuss issues of social /economic injustice, it is time to recalibrate strategies that can also hold leaders at all levels accountable, not just the political class.”

They also criticised the poor presentations of lawmakers from the area in the National Assembly on the debate while it lasted.

“First, Nigerians were witness to the show of shame at the National Assembly by so called representatives of Niger Delta during the public hearing of PIB.

“These were mostly people who knew little to nothing of the intricacies of the issues involved and conducted themselves in ways difficult to differentiate from those of thugs/agberos,” said.

The scholars also chided elites of the region for their lacklustre attitude and failure to harness their potentials to improve the lives of their people.

“Disturbing revelations unfolded over the years can make one wonder whether there is some merit in the accusation often thrown at us members from Niger Delta by colleagues from the other regions when Committee deliberations got heated.

“Our major problem in the region is not so much lack of funds but a lack of desire/capacity by elites like us in position of trust to optimize available resources to work for the good of their own people “.

“Some of us always retorted that elite corruption is pan-Nigeria and not limited to Niger Delta,” they said.


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