The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Senator Ita Enang has reconciled factions of oil producing host community after a fight at the National Assembly last week.
The factions of the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing (Oil and Gas) had fought openly at the public hearing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the National Assembly.
But following a meeting convened by Senator Enang, the factions have agreed to work together.
Enang had during the meeting admonished both parties to as brothers set aside their differences and have a common position for the purpose the PIB.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting signed by Enang, Dr. Mike Emuh – National Chairman, and Dr. Ben. S. Tamaranebi – National President said both factions agreed:
I. Property and ownership of petroleum within Nigeria and its territorial waters, continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone is and shall be vested in the Government of the Federation and the Governments of the Petroleum Producing States for and held in trust on behalf of the people.
II. Section 115 of PIB deals with the regulation and operations of the midstream and downstream operation, regulatory of the surface rights by the midstream and downstream. This implies that the Host communities has lost their statutory participatory rights and sustainable development in accordance to the laws and policies precedence and therefore not acceptable.
III. There is need for stakeholders’ consultation as contained in the global and local regulation
IV. The host communities also resolved on 10% equity shareholding as against 2.5% of production quantum
V. Agreed that a Commission be established to known as Host Communities Oil Producing Area Development Commission (HC – OPADEC) which shall be replicated at the state and local government levels. The nomination of the appointees to the Board shall be from the Host Communities and not the other way round
VI. Agreed that any Oil company that fails to set up the Trust Fund within 6 months after the enaction of the act shall be sanctioned in accordance to the local content Act section 68. However, we do not subscribe to the scrapping of NDDC, rather its funding should be enhanced;
VII. State government that have not established oil producing development commission should as a matter urgency establish theirs or be held responsible of any damages of facility in their states, and where they fail to pay, the monies shall be deducted from their statutory allocation. A National supervisory Agency be set up between the Presidency and the Host communities to ensure full compliance
VIII. We note the negative impact of gas flare and its impact on environment, economy and human health which cannot be over emphasized, therefore the operating companies should pay gas flare penalties directly to the Host communities who are the direct recipient of climate change and exploratory activities.
IX. If we divest our oil and gas resources we would have stripped our Nation bare. No Nation can survive and be economically healthy after stripping itself of its natural resources which took millions of years to configure. The divestment programme will create wide margin between the rich and the poor. It will enslave Niger Delta, impoverish Nigeria and turn Nigeria into a worthless Nation. We would have surrendered ourselves to servitude forever. The buyer of our oil and gas assets would be the only one to determine whether we breathe as a nation or not.
X. We commend the Reps on the resolution about NLNG but note that in the Bill, NLNG is among the companies which NNPC is in charge of, which you lumped together into NPC and propose to divest in the stock market. We have, therefore, resolved and demand that No one should sell off our oil and gas reserves;
XI. That a joint technical committee selected from members of the contending parties to prepare presentations and submission is hereby constituted to be facilitated by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Niger Delta Affairs.