The demand by governors of the States in the southern part of the country for five percent allocation for Host Community Fund in the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is not too much, the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, has said.
The governor who was answering questions from reporters in Minna, Niger State on Saturday said the proposal contained in the House of Representatives version of the draft PIB was in order “considering the devastating effects of oil production on communities in the oil producing areas in the Niger Delta region.”
“The three percent approved in the Senate version of the draft Bill approved last week is too small, considering the risks and hazards people in the oil producing areas are subjected to through oil exploration and production activities.
“The fishermen can no longer earn a living, because of oil spillage, while the farmers cannot farm on the land, because of the same reason.
“There are numerous other challenges confronting members of oil producing communities,” the governor said.
Emmanuel said although the Southern State governors cannot take away the functions of members of the National Assembly on the PIB, they however have an obligation to point out that more resources are required to assist the oil producing communities maintain peace and create the enabling environment for the continued operation of the oil companies in the region.
He said the governors in states in the affected communities would give and appropriate response after studying the draft PIB carefully.
The two Chambers of the National Assembly last week passed the draft PIB in which the controversial provision of three percent allocation was approved for the Host Oil Communities Fund, amid protests by civil society groups and affected groups in the Niger Delta region. (NAN)