By Angela Atabo
Host Communities of Nigeria, Producing Oil and Gas (HOSCON) says it supports Federal Government’s three per cent allocation provision in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) recently passed into law.
The National Chairman, HOSCON, Mike Emuh, made this known while addressing newsmen in Abuja, said “for 13 years, we have been waiting’’.
“What we have been waiting for has been given to us, so we are here to celebrate this three per cent for the starts.
“We all started primary school in primary one, before we got to primary six, so we must start from somewhere.
“Just like 13 per cent derivation started from 1.5 per cent, then it got to three per cent, then five per cent until it became 13 per cent and today, we are still asking for more.
“The issue is that this law is a law that favours the host communities and so, I want to appeal to all leaders of Niger Delta to please sheath their swords.
“Let there be peace so that we can think of how to manage this fund,’’ he said.
Emuh said that more than N44 trillion had been mismanaged in the past 22 years by the leadership of the Niger Delta.
According to him, the gas flaring penalty has also become a law with the release of all these to us, I think we have much to do.
He advised those against the three per cent to rethink their decision.
Emuh said that three per cent of the total budget of oil companies in Nigeria going to host communities was a good deal.
He therefore said that whosoever was arguing and encouraging youths to go back to the creeks, either to carry arms or to destroy pipe lines should desist from such.
He said that the issue had been politicised and people were being misinformed on the issue.
“We of the host communities are not playing politics, we are saying that what belongs to the host communities should be given to them.
“So, the time has come for us to reason together as region youths, women, and men alike, on how we are going to spend our three per cent.
“This is in terms of diversification from oil and gas to agriculture, in terms of industrialisation to create employment for youths and so on, this is where we stand,’’ he said. (NAN)