Senator Dickson: 3% for host communities will cause unrest in Niger Delta
Senator representing Bayelsa west, Seriake Dickson has stated that the 3 percent allocation to host communities as contained in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will cause unrest in the Niger Delta region.
The Bayelsa-west senator called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law.
Speaking on Thursday at a media briefing in Abuja, he said a review of the legislation is needed to accommodate the originally proposed five percent allocation to the host communities.
“We believe that there should be a review of the legislation. There shouldn’t be a signature yet. President Buhari shouldn’t assent to it yet,” Dickson said.
“It should be delayed for more consultative and inclusive work so that while trying to solve problems, you don’t create more problems.
“If the President has not guaranteed security in the north-east, south-east, south-west and north-west, it will be against the national interest to open another frontier of conflicts perhaps in the only region that is enjoying relative stability because of the policies that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua initiated.”
The former governor of Bayelsa explained that the bill proposed 10 percent for the host communities and another 10 per cent for frontier development when it was introduced to the national assembly by the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
“Unfortunately, the bill could not be passed then. The 9th Assembly has been able to pass it but we have to get it right,” he said.
“I am not happy with the three per cent that was eventually passed. Most of us disagree completely and that was why I led my other colleagues from the south-south to stage a walk out.
“The argument was that the investors would not come if more than three per cent was approved.
“However I want to state that if the host communities are not happy, the investors will not come.
“Let us be very careful, and that is why I am of the view that the three per cent is not helpful to the host communities, not helpful to the oil companies and also, not helpful to the country.”
He added that the money allocated for frontier basins exploration should not be up to 30 per cent.
“There are several frontier basins in the country. I know it serves the national interest in exploring more basins but why allocating 30 per cent of NNPC profit to oil exploration when the desire of the host communities were not met?” Dickson asked.
Meanwhile, Biobarakuma Wangagha, senator representing Bayelsa east, said the decision to allocate 3 percent to the host communities was that of the national assembly and not Timipreye Sylva, the minister of state for petroleum resources.
Dickson was alleged to have recently accused Sylva of reducing the host communities’ development funds in the PIB to three per cent.
“[It is] highly regrettable considering the tireless efforts put in by the minister in actualising this long awaited law,” the Bayelsa east senator said.
“One wonders how and why Dickson would drag Sylva into this. Observers would be tempted to ask what efforts Dickson made to achieve the utmost desire as the bill was presented to the National Assembly when he was still governor.
“Other governors from the Niger Delta region rallied round their people and even lobbied lawmakers from other regions to support an increase in the host communities’ development funds.
“Dickson did nothing as he was content with spending 13 percent derivation on aggressive development of his own villages which are not host communities, leaving the oil and gas producing host communities to suffer their fate.
“It’s ridiculous to see him fighting pretentiously for host communities.”
The post Senator Dickson: 3% for host communities will cause unrest in Niger Delta appeared first on NEWS.